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Love Letter To A Record: Afterthought’s Max Day On Trophy Eyes’ ‘The American Dream’

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 Love Letter To A Record 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.

Max Day, Afterthought – Trophy Eyes, The American Dream (2018)

The American Dream is one of those albums that, on every single listen, hits just as hard as it did that very first time. And after every listen, I continually find myself coming back for more.

Having just finished school, and dealing with all the joys of young adulthood, I found myself looking at my life and trying to figure out where I wanted it to go. In such a pivotal moment, music was able to reveal to me so much of myself. And The American Dream did just that; here was an album full of energy, full of pain, full of honesty and full of life. It doesn’t shy away from anything but reaches down into your soul and holds on tight. It’s got plenty of big sing-along moments (don’t get me started on the opening lines of ‘You Can Count On Me’) and it’s got moments of gentle intimacy and vulnerability that’ll make you want to call the people you love and tell them you love them.

Trophy Eyes took a different approach on this album, and I have absolutely no doubt that it paid off. This album can embrace the sound of their previous releases, while also allowing the band to comfortably expand into some new territory. And it all just feels so right. When ‘Friday Forever’ was released, I remember listening to it on repeat all day. Literally. I don’t think I even considered playing another song, when all I could think about were the huge anthemic guitars and the catchiest chorus I think I’ve ever heard. And hidden behind all the energy are some of the most vulnerable lyrics out there.

Is this what the clouds feel like? Never really happy, just quiet and polite. Surrounded and lonely at the same time.

For me, I’ve never related to a song more. That song makes me want to cry, makes me want to hug all my friends, and makes me want to dance nearly as well as John does in its beautiful video. And seeing it performed live with some of my best mates next to me was a spiritual experience.

The American Dream will always hold a special place in my heart. As a musician, telling stories is the main part of the job. The emotion that this album captures is second to none – it’s like I’ve lived a lifetime during its 39-minute lifespan. And if I can end up telling stories almost as good as the ones on this album, I’ll be a happy man.

Afterthought are a Sydney-based pop-punk quintet who’ve just unveiled their wholehearted self-titled EP – produced by Rich Mammoliti (Breakaway, Our Past Days).

“Musically, this EP is a step up in our song writing ability and this is due to us spending far more time demoing and refining each section until we felt that they were right and served the song,” the band explain.

“We also wanted to move towards a pop-like sound which better reflects the musical direction we’re taking as a band. Lyrically, this EP is a reflection on love and loss, and a yearning for something more. We hope that our lyrics help people understand, navigate and find joy in the wild world that is human relationships.”

Take it for a spin below!

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