Love Letter To A Record: Scott Helman On Peter Gabriel’s ‘So’

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.

Scott Helman: Peter Gabriel – So

Dear So, by Peter Gabriel.

I swear I’ve seen you before. Was is it in high school, on the loud speaker before the national anthem? Or maybe it was before then, when I was seven, and you sped by my window in the car of a passerby. Needless to say, I don’t feel good. Being consumed by infatuation and the sting of stupidity simultaneously is horrible. To not recognise the beauty in this world until it’s slightly out of your reach is the worst of things, and it happens too often.

You are one of those things, and I wish to rectify it.

How? By telling you I love you.

I know it may come as a shock, what with all my nights with Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Joy Division and folk-punk strangers. That long strange alleyway path to the rejection of anything whole. The irony of nihilism. The impunity of relinquishing responsibility. The protection of teenage angst. Isn’t is funny how the walls we build to protect ourselves can keep us from the things we need to save us?

I love you. And I always should have known. It hits me like a Sledgehammer; I should have looked In Your Eyes. And you know I don’t mean to make excuses, but the proclamation of our true feelings is the deepest fear of our younger selves. To say what we mean. To walk with confidence, like you did.

Now you’re all I think about. Each time I hear your voice it’s like I’ve heard it before, but was never listening. And I’ll go days without thinking about it, and I’ll feel okay, but then I’ll walk into a room, and I’ll pick up a guitar, and someone will say “what do you want to write?” and all I can think about is you. Your tasteful use of reverb, your connection to yourself, the way you let that triangle continue through your haunting messages of Mercy, the Mercy I look for with each strum.

I love you. I really do. And maybe one day I’ll be as good as you. Maybe one day I’ll find the words to meet you with, and we can hold each others voices on the edge of our chords without the power dynamic of one who is perfect, and one who has missed something.

Until then, I’ll keep trying, and I Won’t Give Up.

Love, Scott.

Catch Canada’s Scott Helman live on his first Australian tour this week, off the back of his new single ‘PDA’. Dates below.

Scott Helman 2018 Australian Tour Dates

Wednesday, 14th February

OAF Gallery, Sydney

Tickets: Moshtix

Friday, 16th February

The Toff, Melbourne

Tickets: Moshtix

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