Love Letter To A Record: Alex Lahey On The Killers’ ‘Hot Fuss’

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.

Alex Lahey: The Killers – ‘Hot Fuss’

Dear Hot Fuss,

When I think of love letters I think of what can’t be had: “I am writing to you because I can’t have you”. This is how I feel about you. You are perfect, you are unattainable, it isn’t even worth trying to be in your company, I can only admire from a distance and go about my life allowing you to be what you are to me.

When I was about 12 years old, I started being ‘too cool’ for what was on Video Hits. I resisted liking what was popular because I was a music nerd who was getting deep into the trenches of Limewire (don’t give me that look…) trying to find the thing that no one else in my Year 7 Humanities class knew about. One Saturday morning, this band playing in front of lights on Video Hits were singing about somebody who told them that their boyfriend looked like their girlfriend from last year or something and it sounded GOOD. But no. I couldn’t like it. No way. Nope. Switch it off. Resist. Back to the Ramone’s B-sides.

But as we do with true love, I caved. I bought you from Sanity with a gift voucher I had been given from a relative and for the first time in my life, I knew that I had just heard a perfect record. From what I interpret as the helicopter noises at the start of ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’ to the greatest rock song of our generation ‘Mr Brightside’, to the perfect sentiments of ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, to the transcending arrangement that is ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ to the shameless Queen guitar references in ‘Glamourous Indie Rock & Roll’, to the perfect closing message of ‘Everything Will Be Alright’, every single song is perfect in itself and within the context of the record.

I have no idea how you’ve done it, and to be honest, I don’t want to know – when something is that good, you just let it be and let it have its place in your life. I don’t want to pull you apart for fear of ruining the magic.

As an artist, I can only dream of having something like you to put my name on. Maybe one day, probably never. But I always come back to you to indulge in the mysteries of perfection and feel my heart swell.


AL x

Alex Lahey’s debut album ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ is out today. Her national album tour continues tonight in Sydney.

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