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.
Pluto Jonze – Regurgitator, …art
Dear Regurgitator …art ,
You were the second CD I ever bought and the first ‘cool’ album I ever genuinely liked. Even then my way cooler friends still derided me – most of them ~Liked Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff~
Some of your chord progressions were so weird and mind blowing for this kid obsessively working them out on his Yamaha acoustic guitar. They would go places I’d never heard before. I remember thinking the ‘Freshmint!’ progression must literally have never occurred in music ‘til you came along, and the primary goal of songwriting was to put the chords together in a way no one had ever done before. To this day there’s part of me still trying to crack the code.
You were so difficult to place – and still are. You have this glistening pop sheen but with punk guitars and lyrics like “Rotting my brain once again it’s always the same and it never ends”. You have a kamikaze attitude, a disdain that cuts the world around you in half and pulls the debris in on yourself. You don’t give a fuck.
I could tell a lot of it was tongue in cheek, but you had your cake and ate it too (Cake’s Prolonging The Magic was incidentally the first album I ever bought – I remember my reaction at the time was meh)
You taught me you didn’t have to be hardcore to be edgy. Originality is edgy. Defying expectations is edgy. You opened my eyes to something other than The Beatles.
“I got a speck of truth caught in my eye. It stings like hell and it’s making me cry” – what a line!
There was this CD skip on your second track ‘Ghost’ that I always thought of as part of the song. Only years later when I streamed your mp3 incarnation would I realise this was not as intended. I’m sorry but I’ll always prefer the version on that scratched old CD.
I never dreamed I’d end up working with the great Magoo, the dude behind so much of your production that drew me in. My time with him was something I’ll never forget. I learned so much.
When you were born, it felt like you were right on the bleeding edge and to be honest, I feel like if you came out today, 20 years later, it’d be the same.
You’re still the gold standard for pushing the envelope of what a record can be and how far you can shift your shape as an artist.
Thank you, Mr. DJ!!
Sydney’s Pluto Jonze is an artist who defies comparison. The daring music video for his new single ‘I’ll Try Anything’ sees him perform on a burning piano in the middle of the Blue Mountains wilderness, an apt visual to reflect his powerful, quirky indie-piano-pop sound.