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Love Letter To A Record: PLANET On Arctic Monkey’s ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’

Written by Harry from PLANET on May 30, 2018

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.

PLANET: Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

I still remember when I first met you, huddled in the racks of the local Sanity.

“I don’t know about this one, Harry” Mum said, “He’s smoking on the front cover.”

I don’t remember if that’s what drew me to you or if I just liked the name but I took you home with me that day. It’s hard to know the exact impact you’ve had on my life but you certainly opened the door to a whole new world of music. Before you the only other CD I had bought was Ricky Martin’s Living La Vida Loca. And while those hot latin rhythms still reverberate inside my head it was your short, punchy sounds and wry, sarcasm-drenched lyrics which would push me towards my current musical tastes.

It’s fortuitous writing this letter now. Everyone’s talking about your younger sibling. “Why can’t you be more like your older brothers!” they scream at poor young Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino.

A terrible weight to put on the shoulders of a young album, which I believe will blossom over the coming days and months with each subsequent listen. I felt the same way about Humbug at first. This was the first major deviation in your parents’ sound. I hated it. Give me back Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. I was angry. But I was also young and stupid. A shift in sound to be sure, but we all have to grow and evolve. That album would mark the beginning of a refinement of style that would culminate in the chart smashing ‘AM’.

Why do I mention all of this? Because people seem to have forgotten that you still exist. You never left us, and you never will. You are a snapshot of a particular point in time. It consoles me that I’ll always be able to return to you and relive those days of teen angst and awkwardness. But you always knew that others would take your place. You never wanted me to hold on forever. “You’d have done better to stay round our way,” the social vampires say, “thinking bout things but not actually doing the things.” But you always knew they were wrong. You can’t live in the past. It’s an invaluable lesson to learn both personally and as a musician.

So, thank you – for introducing me to a whole new world, for your constant presence, but most importantly for never getting jealous when I venture off.

Much love,

Harry

PLANET’s debut EP ‘Waking Eight’ is out now. Catch their celebratory national June tour dates via their official Facebook page.

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