Love Letter To A Record: All We Are’s Luis Santos On Broken Social Scene’s ‘You Forgot It In People’

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 new 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.

Luis Santos, All We Are: Broken Social Scene – ‘You Forgot It In People’

I was a bit late to the party when I first heard Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People. It was summer 2011, our band was weeks old and Rich and I were setting off to meet Guro at her family’s holiday cabin in idyllic central Norway.

Guro says her granddad built the cabin. It’s all wood, ceilings so low you are in perpetual danger of banging your head. By the forest trees is the outhouse and down the almost unused dirt road are the eerily still lake and snow capped mountains (apologies for the clichés, there’s nothing I can do). It was the cosiest place I’d ever seen, and looking back it was “that” summer – when your memories are augmented by all your senses and feelings and things you did at the time.

cabin outside

Image: Supplied

After a long trip (and a quick stop to acquire a bottle of Jameson’s whisky, as was tradition) we arrived to find Guro having just been given a CD, a gift from a friend. It was the only CD in the cabin, and somehow that turned out to be a good thing. It starts with ‘Capture The Flag’, a mood setting intro that has a bit of Mingus and Vangelis, then a disarming and fragile guitar line leading into that punch in the face that is the drums of KC Accidental. The energy in that track has been a constant inspiration and reference for me ever since.

This is one of those albums that honestly takes you on a journey, ups and downs, immense energy, shy ballads and cinematic instrumentals. The outro of ‘Almost Crimes’; the delicate outtake vibe of ‘Looks Just Like The Sun’; the warping and insisting Feist vocals on ‘Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl’; the relentless ‘Cause = Time’; the slow audacity of ‘Lover’s Spit’ – these songs became the soundtrack of that summer, a time that defined the band and our friendship.

Talking about friendship, that’s one of the things we appreciate the most in Broken Social Scene, that sense of being there no matter what, a strong bond that is prevalent in their music. You see it when a group of people go through exhausting emotions together, they end up truly working as a collective.

Vocals are swapped, different instruments take leads, all the while being supported equally by everyone. This ethos we took into All We Are, and last summer when Guro and Rich bumped into the Canadians at a festival, I remember them saying “yeah, they are a little bit like us!”

cabin inside

Image: Supplied

I have a lot of fond anecdotes from that Norway trip. We drank that bottle of Jameson’s and ended up sitting on an ancient piece of rock watching as the sun goes down, kisses the lake, never quite disappears and rises again, all the while discussing deep and not so deep things. Back at the cabin, the ceiling ended up being too low for one of our friends who went head first into a beam and collapsed unconscious like a rag doll. We used to go for walks up the mountain and enjoy not seeing another human for days. Standing at the top of the mountain one day we met gorgeous milkmaids, like a ghostly and tempting apparition who tricked me into doing the “Budeie Test” – which consists of one being sprayed in the face with cow’s milk straight from the udder. Still not 100% sure that actually happened.

All along, You Forgot It In People was playing in the background and it’s probably the record I’ve listened to the most.


Image: Supplied

All We Are’s new album ‘Sunny Hills’ is out next Friday 9th June. Pre-order a copy, here.

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