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.
Banoffee – Tidal, Fiona Apple (1996)
A love letter to Tidal by Fiona Apple,
Dear Tidal, you are an animal created by another yet definitely one that lives and breathes its own life. Something that burrowed deep into me at a young age and showed me all the different words that could better describe my world.
When I first heard you, I was deep in the trenches of teenagehood. Curves where I didn’t want them, attention when I didn’t want it, rejection when I wanted affection – all the things that make a teenager a teenager. Climbing out of classroom windows I used you to blare out their disapproval. Sitting in detention you were there to sit beside me, running away from home, you were the friend that made the realness a thrill.
“I’ll never glow the way that you glow, your presence dominates the judgements made on you”. ‘Never Is A Promise’ was a friend to me when I would hide in the science room. It was a comfort when I’d look at the kids that seemed to have the things I didn’t. It was this song that made me realise the special supernatural ability of words in song. The ways that words when sung can dodge the roadblocks and get through to those that have put them up.
“Oh it’s so evil, my love, the way you’ve no reverence to my concern. So I’ll be sure to stay wary of you, love. To save the pain of once my flame and twice my burn.” What a lesson, how the self can implode. ‘Shadow Boxer’ taught a young girl to be as wary of her own thoughts as to the scorns of others. To build strength from within, to use guts as a creative medium, to make a battle a melody. So, Tidal. Fiona wrote to you, but you definitely had a hand in writing me. The message was clear, to be vulnerable, to feel pain, to forge new paths through the strength it takes to feel, rather than through the refusal to admit feeling. You are a record that opens us up, lets us decide the narrative and take what we will from you and from the picture around us. You are complex in a way that doesn’t alienate us, your intellect is bold yet it lies down next to the punters and strokes their hair.
With every lick of the piano and multi-syllable trill, you massaged a very grumbly young kid into someone agile and ready for a good spar. I hope I can one day make a record that lives past me like you have your writer. You are beside her, yet not her.
Thank you for the long walks, the hiding spots, the dancing on the bed, the singing in the car, the long nights heaving in the dark, the warm days on the beach. You are a soundtrack to everything and a wonderful friend.