Love Letter To A Record: Airways’ Jake Daniels On Arctic Monkeys’ ‘AM’

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.

Jake Daniels, Airways: Arctic Monkeys — ‘AM’

Dear AM,

I understand that describing you as a record that changed my life may seem a little strange, considering that this time four years ago I was at the ripe age of 18 and you still hadn’t been released yet. I was a late bloomer in that sense, and only started to take a real interest in music at the age of 16/17, later than most of my school friends.

You, AM, hold a special place in my heart because for the first time ever, I felt like I was witnessing greatness in the present tense, instead of the usual situation I’d find myself in where I’d be marvelling at a past album I was too young to appreciate at its time of release (possibly not even alive).

As I said, I was 18 when you came out and I subsequently fell in love with you, and I remember vividly how excited me and our guitarist Alex were at the time you were released. We’d both only just started playing guitar a little more seriously, and the cocktail of hip hop and old school rock & roll you brought to our ears had us both inspired and excited.

A number of things about you stand out: Alex Turner (as always) flaunts his ability to churn out relatable lyrics, the sort that make me hate myself because I wish I’d have written them, and your minimalist musical arrangements ooze confidence. You often remind me of the importance of simplicity, and that it doesn’t always have to be mind bogglingly complicated to be good.

What impresses me most is the way that your fathers, Arctic Monkeys, seamlessly blended a variety of hip hop and rock influences and still managed to maintain their identity. I think too, that this ability Arctic Monkeys possess, that allows them reinvent themselves time and time again, is something that all of us in the band admire.

We have taken influence from your sound… though I hope this isn’t too noticeable.


Jake from Airways

Airways’ debut EP Starting To Spin (produced by Dom Craik from Nothing But Thieves and Julian Emery) is out now via Caroline Australia. Stream their single ‘Reckless Tongue’ here.

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