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.
The Kite String Tangle – Jamie XX, In Colour (2015)
Dear In Colour,
Thanks for being such a staple in my life. Ever since I started my solo project as The Kite String Tangle I’ve held your maker as a big influence. You came to be a couple of years after I started my project and I had waited a long time for your arrival. I was already so hyped to hear you and you exceeded every expectation I had. There was everything I’ve always liked about Jamie XX in the past, the understated production, really clever sonic choices whilst also remaining perfectly balanced between club ready producer tunes and alternative pop songs. Perfect to listen to in headphones but not out of place at a house party or a DJ set.
I’ve always been a sucker for a blissed out 3am club sound and you have this vibe in spades. I also am an avid album listener and really appreciate the craft of carving out a journey for the listener throughout an album and I feel like you have been one of my favourite journeys of the last decade. I once had an argument with a friend about this actually, because he said that you felt too disjointed and didn’t make sense together, but each song made sense by itself, and I couldn’t disagree more to be honest. I feel like the sparser songs really add a sense of breathing space and respite that are appreciated when you start getting to a big emotional song like ‘Loud Places’ or a big vibe track like ‘Good Times’.
Speaking of good times, I was able to go see you being performed on tour multiple times (however never at a headline show only at festivals which was sad), and it really cemented how I feel about you. You have a quality in music that I absolutely love and transports me every time, so when I was able to see you played really loud amongst a bunch of other fans who all clearly were having the same experience, it was truly magical.
You also informed my writing, mostly in the form of bringing my attention back to sampling which I hadn’t done in a while. You’re riddled with samples and I loved hearing the tasteful twists and takes on them and finding the originals and hearing one of them in one my favourite TV shows ‘Top Boy’. This was largely the inspiration behind there being so many samples on my new record.
I’ll let you go now as I don’t want to distract you from whoever is listening to you now (apart from me), but just know that you’re a forever record. I’ll listen to you always and you will always transport me back to a 3 or 4 year period of my life that were hugely important to me.
The Kite String Tangle’s new album ‘C()D3X’ will be released this Friday, 20th March.