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.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Mick, Halcyon Drive – Crowded House’s Together Alone
I know it’s been a while, you might not even remember me, but we spent a lot of time together when I was very young. In fact, I haven’t really given you a good listen in years — but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you, or that you aren’t always there, influencing the way I listen to and make music everyday.
My first memories of you are from the passenger seat of Dad’s car- him belting out all the words as the CD spun away in the dash, me marvelling at the complexity and beauty in the language and layers of sounds. Actually, who am I kidding — I’m sure I didn’t recognise any of that back then, but by some kind of magical osmosis I can recite almost every lyric myself to this day. I can’t say that for many albums, so that has to count for something.
I can’t even remember a time when you weren’t around, to be honest. Songs like ‘Distant Sun’ and ‘Pineapple Head’ were the soundtrack to my youth, and also some of the first songs I learnt to play when I picked up a guitar. They were the first songs I plucked up the courage to go and play at the local open mic when I was 18 (mainly because I wasn’t afraid of forgetting the words), and the songs I sung over the years at parties, weddings and for loved ones.
‘Private Universe’ was my secret favourite. A warm hug of a song I strummed away ad nauseum in my bedroom, and the kind of song I always strove to write. In fact, that song to me was, and always has been, basically perfection. Simply poetry, all leading up to a next-level middle eight, but delivered with such a unique sense of production that it still blows my mind today.
I have to admit though, I haven’t always ‘got’ you. The mood swings from tender poetry (‘Fingers of Love’, ‘Together Alone’), to balls-out rock and roll (‘Skin Feeling’, ‘Black and White Boy’) sometimes confused me, and maybe even turned me away in my later years — but listening back today, it simply makes me love you even more. The light and shade, the two sides of your personality, the depth of the songwriting, and the bravery to put it all side-by-side are simply inspiring. And by god, that guitar tone in ‘Black and White Boy’ is as good as it gets.
I could go on for days really — the harmonies in EVERY song, the underrated bass lines, the pure genius of the pop lyricism — but I think I’ll leave it there.
Goodbye for now old friend — know that you hold a very special place in my heart. Maybe one day I’ll have a record of my own that’s worthy of sitting on the shelf next to you.
Halcyon Drive’s new single ‘Agnosia’ is out now. Spin it, and catch details of their August launch shows, below.
Halcyon Drive ‘Agnosia’ Tour Dates
Friday, 10th August
Otto’s House Party, World Bar, Sydney
Saturday, 18th August
Secret Location, Melbourne