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 their stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
James Stuteley, Carb on Carb – The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There
I came around to emo pretty late, unfortunately choosing classic rock over it as my high school sub-culture niche. But when I did, and got past the theatricality and aesthetic of mid-00’s emo that had put me off, I found a genre brimming with the emotion and passion that I had always gravitated towards in music. Though a bit trite and melodramatic, I do think life’s too short to listen music that doesn’t make you feel something. I say this from experience, having spent a lot of time trying to get into indie rock bands who were technically good but emotionally just a block of wood.
Home by The Hotelier really hit that spot that I had waiting. I like how it came from this previously decent but not exceptional pop punk band and just absolutely transcended. And people didn’t really realise straight away, it took a while, myself included, to come to grips with it. Let’s be honest, your favourite album is always a combination of timing, vulnerability to its message, and the music itself. Home was right place, right time and has hit me like only 6-7 albums have in my life. You can tell it’s one of those when you’re listening to it and (good) crying on the way to work for the second time in a week! I can’t point to anything specific and say, “look, it changed my life,” but I do honestly think that it has helped me process, work through and learn things and that I am a better person for it. It’s hard to pinpoint how or why but it’s something to do with the music echoing your thoughts and feelings back to you and that being comforting.
A lot of its listening longevity comes from the lyrics – complex enough that you can still draw new meanings out after listening to it for years, but simple and poetic enough that you want to sing along.
In December 2015 we were asked to open a few Hotelier shows in Australia. We had had this wild year releasing the album and touring already, so when it came along we
were just like, “cool, everything this year is wild.” Then there we were, on this stormy, hot summer night, playing at my favourite venue in the world (Black Wire Records) with my favourite band in the world.
Carb on Carb have just released their new single ‘It’s been a rough year, which you can stream below. They also kick off a string of tour dates across he Aussie east coast today.
Wednesday 14 March
Crown & Anchor, Adelaide
Thursday 15 March
Yarra Hotel, Melbourne
Saturday 17 March
No Front Fences 2, Canberra
Sunday 18 March
House Show, Doonside
Wednesday 21 March
Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle
Friday 23 March
Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney