Love Letter To A Record: Moonlover’s Quang Dinh On Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’

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.

Moonlover’s Quang Dinh: Radiohead – Kid A

Dear Kid A,

I remember going to JB the day you were released and buying you and bringing you home, chucking some headphones on and smashing it. The first listen was tough. I’d turned it up so loud in the headphones in excitement that everything had distorted so badly that all I could hear were these jackhammers on metal and evil robot dragonflies being eaten by truckosauruses. It crunched the whole way through, I couldn’t make out any words and couldn’t hear any melodies. After listening to the whole record, I thought, ‘Shit, that’s hectic. I’ve never heard anything like it. A bit over the top with the death march of the jackhammers though.’

My friends asked me, ‘It’s amazing, isn’t it?’

I said, ‘Yeah, it’s pretty avant-garde.’

When I heard the record for real, my little mind was blown again. How the hell do you make that sound? What planet is this? Am I on drugs? The songs were amazing and the alien-ness of it all really resonated with me.

When I found out Radiohead were coming out to Australia, I waited outside the newsagent with my mate Adrian for 12 hours. We ate cold spaghetti from tin cans and BBQ shapes. We took shifts being awake. We had sleeping bags and beanies and probably some comic books to read. I think we were first or second in the line. No one else joined the line until about an hour before the newsagent opened. When the newsagent did open at 8am, the few people in front of us ordered their tickets and then we rushed to the counter and asked for 8 of them. We snapped them up and high-fived each other. Golden tickets to the chocolate factory! It was about 3 minutes past 8 when the newsagent shouted out to the rest of the line, probably 40 or 50 deep now, “Radiohead is sold out!” We felt the line’s demon eyes hook in as we walked past.

On the day of the concert, as diehards, we made it our mission to line up for the concert 4 or 5 hours before doors. One of our friends Dom arrived a quarter hour before doors and joined our slot in the line. The lady behind us, scowled at us and tasered her eyeballs into us and hissed through her teeth, ‘I hate you!’ It was a really awkward fifteen minutes after that.

The concert was amazing. We were standing second row from the front, unfortunately on Ed O’Brien’s side (still love you, mate).

That year, delusional child I was, I auditioned for Australian Idol. All I remember was a big hall with hundreds maybe thousands of wannabes. I was actually in my soccer gear because I was going to Saturday sport after. I went into a room, shin pads on and did my best Thom Yorke impression, flailing my arms around, rolling my eyes singing ‘Idioteque’. They stopped me quarter-way through and said, ‘Thanks. That’ll do. Next!’ I’m glad I was never filmed and can claim that this never happened.

Kid A, you taught me a lot about obtuse chord progressions, strange arrangements, wild soundscapes and bold leaps of the imagination. Thank you.



Moonlover’s debut album ‘Thou Shall Be Free’ is out today! Spin it here.

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