Love Letter To A Record: IV League’s Bella Venutti On My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’

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.

Bella Venutti, IV League – Loveless by My Bloody Valentine

Dear Loveless,

There are few other albums that elicit a response anywhere near as emotional as you do from me. When I first found you in my late teens, I was almost unprepared. The iconic opening drum fill on track 1 ‘Only Shallow’ that rips into a raucous howling wall of guitars was unlike anything I had experienced throughout my previous forays into 90’s rock. I was unsure, but intrigued. Not unlike a fascination with a mysterious new lover.

To me this album sonically embodies the perspective of an introvert, and I love to listen to it the most when I’m alone. It exudes longing, bliss, rejection and loss. The beautiful lyrics are just vague enough and tucked beneath the layers and layers of reverb and distortion to the point where the absorption of Kevin and Bilinda’s emotions is almost subconscious. The guitars shock and cut you at times, and feel like a warm embrace at others, and Bilinda and Kevin’s angelic voices always prove to sooth you in turn. The music is so guttural and makes me feel human and acknowledge my vulnerability. I’m not a religious person but I can’t help but think that ‘To Here Knows When’ would blare at the gates of heaven.

Kevin Shields is my favourite guitarist of all time, and my fascination with his ability to create the sounds that he does will likely never cease. He exists to me within the mythology of Loveless’ production, and all of the rumours that surround the infamous three-year tracking period. “The tambourine on ‘Soon’ took an entire week to record”, “Kevin and Bilinda both suffered bouts of tinnitus”, and “the album bankrupted Creation Records” etc. I can’t say for sure but the narrative that this album exists within seems to set the precedent for how insanely wonderful it’s going to be – and it does not disappoint.

The soundtrack to the life that I share with friends, family and peers is composed of many different artists, genres and moods, but when I look back and connect the most intimate and personal moments I have shared with myself Loveless immediately comes to mind. Kevin has said that when they were writing the record, the band were all young and incredibly high and wanted to make people feel the same. I’m thinking back now to being in the back seat of a taxi in Amsterdam (most definitely intoxicated) unsure if I remembered the way back to my airbnb. I plugged in my headphones and put on ‘Come in Alone’ and felt like I was really hearing the song for the first time. I passed a field scattered with horses and the sunset was blazing and red. It felt like the perfect summary of the tumultuous and beautiful first couple of years of my twenties, and prepared me for those that are yet to come. ♫Come in Alone, you will love to let go♫

Love forever,

Bella (IV League)

IV League’s new track ‘Lose Me’ is out now! Listen below and catch them live headlining Brisbane’s Mountain Goat Valley Crawl festival this coming February

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