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.
Tim Blunt & Ally Turner, FVNERAL – Charli Adams Bullseye (2021)
Dearest Charli, our hero and future best friend,
It’s so rare that an album becomes so deeply and existentially important to you so soon after release, but sometimes the truly magical ones begin to weave their way into the very fibre of your being from the moment they first wash over you. It’s kind of like bonding with a new puppy; without pausing to take it all in, you’ve fallen in love with something so precious and tender, and the notion of what life was like beforehand feels like an old skin that’s now been shed.
Tim: Ally sent me ‘Backseat’ early this year, right when we were finishing up the first batch of songs that we finally felt satisfied with. I remember walking back from the supermarket to my house and stopping completely in my tracks to lay down in the park and take it all in. I had this feeling of complete wonder and fascination, even a fraction of jealousy that we hadn’t made this song. I listened to the Good At Being Young EP over and over again until the singles from Bullseye began to drop.
Ally: As the singles off Bullseye came out leading up to the album, I think we both knew that this record was going to be one that would sit with us for a really long time, but I definitely didn’t recognise quite how special it would become and how immediately it would do so. It’s impossible to pinpoint my favourite moments on the record because from start to finish it captures what it’s like to be someone who feels everything, all of the time. There’s so much that resonates with me on a level that I don’t quite understand: still feeling the hurt of your 13-year-old self on ‘Emo Lullaby :’(’, longing to feel relief from the grasp of an unsympathetic God and self-loathing on ‘Cheer Captain’, sitting in the excruciating heartache of ‘Headspace’ (featuring the daddy of emo-country, Ruston Kelly), and wondering “what about me makes everyone leave?” on ‘Bother With Me’.
Tim: Ally and I grew up in a conservative God-fearing community and became friends at high school, which was a similarly terrifying place. I feel like we connected with each other through a shared feeling of exclusion and attempted to create our own little enclave of safety and love, within a context that felt largely devoid of both. Hearing Bullseye made me feel like you were right there with us, huddling and healing all together.
Ally: Sometimes an album grows into what feels like an old friend that you can come back to at any time, who’ll always know exactly what you need. A bit like the understated affection of an old dog, who loves you so wholly and unconditionally. For us it’s usually ones that we’ve held dear for a while – Bon Iver’s Bon Iver or Taylor Swift’s Red – but somehow Bullseye had a way of evoking this same feeling from the very first listen. If a lovechild of Phoebe Bridgers and The 1975 was co-parented with Brandi Carlile every second weekend and made an album, I think it would sound a lot like this.
Charli, we love you. Adopt us, pls
Tim & Ally