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.
Lucy Neville – Hideaway by The Weepies
Congratulations! You are the distinguished recipient of my first love letter since I was pre-pubescent, pencilling in my journal about the boy that I loved. But that was then and this is real.
When I think of 2008 I think of being 11 years old, trapped in an awkward unending dimension of unrequited crushes and unfortunate haircuts, but I also think of you – a big blue whale in the starry sky of my wildest dreams.
In a particularly challenging time of my life, mental illness tore my world apart but you were right there. I can’t help but tear up as I write this to you because you were a crutch and a friend to me in a time where my world was shaken up, when I was challenging time and willing myself to grow up faster than ever.
I found you through my older sister, Kate, who happens to be my best friend. She was wiser than me in every way (she still is), and was a guiding light not only in life but in current fashion, television, pop culture and excellent music. And there you were. In her collection of records, we found you, plucked you out and kept you all for ourselves.
Sometimes we would hide in her room and open up the photobooth app on her laptop, put filters on our faces and sing you over and over, then we’d play it back crying tears of laughter at just how silly ordinary things were when you warped them just slightly. These simpler times I couldn’t forget even if I tried because they remind me that even in the darkest times there can always be joy.
In particular, ‘Can’t Go Back Now’ ushered me to grow from a girl to a woman. Listening to that song on my iPod Nano over and over again as I walked to school, I would listen to you say “Yesterday, when you were young everything you needed done was done for you. Now you do it on your own but you find you’re all alone, What can you do?” It was almost like you wrote that just for me. You were a mirror to the change that was occurring in my world. Even now, 11 years on and through not only those trying times but so many more, I still well up in the car when I hear you say, “But in the end, the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself”. There is something about that sentence that realigns all of my worlds into one and reminds me that as much as we can lean on each other for small moments in time, the only time we make real ground is when we walk alone. Thank you for constantly reminding me that I have been brave enough to do that so many times in my life.
As a teenager, you nurtured the blossoming of a songwriting passion in me. I wrote my own real songs for the first time, as well as playing yours over and over again. I even started a YouTube channel (since deleted – do not go searching, you will not find it) and filmed myself on our desktop webcam as I played your songs into the internet void.
I’m older now and hear your lyrics even more and they light up my world even brighter. Here are a couple of my favourites; ‘In Hideaway’: “I’ll make my own way, In the wide world, Just now I don’t want to wander too far”. In ‘Orbiting’: “And I’m out of your range, now it’s kinda strange how we change orbit in our lives”. In ‘All This Beauty’: “You can ask about it but nobody knows the way. No bread-crumb trail to follow through your days. And perhaps the song that most encompasses the journey we’ve had together, ‘How You Survived the War’: “You’re not gonna lose this one, you don’t have to cut and run. I think you can choose to love and what is more, that is how you survived the war”. Thank you for helping me survive my own personal war, and all the wars ever since.
Kate and I have always said that if we ever have enough money in our back pockets, and if we ever find love like the love you tell us about, we would spend it all to have The Weepies play at our weddings. So I’ll save all of my pennies and I’ll see you at my currently fictional wedding, where we can celebrate love like we have been doing since 2008.
I can’t wait to spend another decade with you by my side,
Stream Lucy Neville’s latest single ‘Wasting Our Time’ here and see below for the single’s upcoming launch dates.
Lucy Neville ‘Wasting Our Time’ Single Launch Shows
Saturday, 19th January
The Factory Floor, Sydney
Tickets: Official Website
Saturday, 2nd February
Tickets: Official Website