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Love Letter To A Record: Clay J Gladstone’s Cole Wilkins On Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘Transatlanticism’

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.

Cole Wilkins, Clay J Gladstone – Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism (2003)

This album hit me, like albums throughout time have hit so many people, because of a girl. I was listening to a lot of hardcore and metalcore as scene kids were to do in the mid 2000s, and along comes a girl that dumps Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism, Cursive’s Domestica, and Texas is the Reason’s Do You Know Who You Are? right into my unsuspecting ears. I could probably write at length about the other two albums, but Transatlanticism is the one that had the most profound impact on me.

I don’t think I really GOT Transatlanticism until I had listened to it in full a few times. I remember being a bit bored the first play through, which makes me feel a little nauseous to say now. Then a couple of days later I found myself humming something absent-mindedly and it took me a little while to realise it was ‘The Sound of Settling’, track 5. Probably one of the more upbeat numbers on the album, lots of hand claps and “BA BAAA’s”, all wrapped around some of the most melancholic lyrics ever written. This is the fundamental thing about Death Cab for Cutie in general, incredible musicianship and songwriting backing a story that we have all experienced, heartbreak. Competing rhythms and melodies between all the members of the band weave an incredibly intricate blanket for you to curl up in and cry, and for some unknown reason, it makes you so happy to be there.

I have come back to this album numerous times, and I can’t really imagine my life without it. Whether I am feeling happy, heartbroken, or just want to sing along to some incredible songs, it is always there for me. This feeling is what Clay J Gladstone strives to find, singing songs about being sad or anxious and doubting yourself, but singing it all together and jumping up and down with a bunch of people that know exactly what you are singing about, because they feel it too.

Clay J Gladstone are a Sydney-based punk rock group who’ve just revealed their enthusiastic debut EP ‘Dead Friends’ – produced and mixed by Daniel Antix at Def Wolf Studios (Pist Idiots, SCABZ).

Listen below!

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