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Love Letter To A Record: Pinkish Blu On Kings Of Leon’s ‘Only By The Night’

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.

Pinkish Blu – Kings Of Leon, Only By The Night (2008)

Dear Only By The Night,

It was late 2008 when Kings Of Leon blew my little 12-year-old mind. ‘Sex On Fire’ was a huge global hit but it was with the release of ‘Use Somebody’ that I, during my school holidays, downloaded their new album Only By The Night from Limewire (soz) onto my green iPod mini.

There was something special about the presence and hype surrounding Kings Of Leon when OBTN dropped all those years ago I didn’t know it then, but nearly 10 years later I’d start a band with people who also loved this album. Obviously ‘Sex On Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’ are incredible songs, the latter being my favourite of the two – those ethereal “ooh oh ohs” in the chorus made me think there actually might be a God. Slower, more melancholic tracks like ‘Revelry’ and ‘Cold Desert’ got me in my feels as a 12-year-old (what didn’t at that age?).

‘Manhattan’ is still a standout track for me, the bass line in that chorus could possibly be the direct reason as to why I wanted to start playing bass in the first place. But I think what drew me in then – and still continues to do so to this day: Caleb Followill’s emotional lyrics filtered through his raspy southern accent; best exhibited in ‘Cold Desert’: “I’ve never ever cried when I was feeling down, I’ve always been scared of the sound, Jesus don’t love me, no one ever carried my load, I’m too young to feel this old

Somehow 12-year-old me found a way to relate to that…

When I listen to this album now, as a 24-year-old, I’m taken away to places I’ve never been. One moment I’m in a hazy, sweaty dive-bar with songs like ‘Crawl’ and ’17’, next thing I’m driving past city lights on a warm summer’s night while ‘Notion’ and ‘Be Somebody’ blare out the car radio, singing “given a chance, I’m gonna be somebody, if for one dance, I’m gonna be somebody.

From when I was 12 years old with aspirations to be in a band one day, to now, actually living out that dream, this album has always been there with me. The individuals that make up the aforementioned band, Pinkish Blu, have varying music tastes, but Only By The Night is one of those very rare albums that we can all agree on. We were each heavily influenced by it as kids, one could argue that, if this album was never released, there may not have ever been a Pinkish Blu…

So with that I must say, thank you and love you Only By The Night x

South Australia indie outfit Pinkish Blu have dropped new music in the form of new single ‘Backward’, alongside a slew of live shows kicking off this March and will be touring with Odette through May. 

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