Love Letter To A Record: Quails On Bic Runga’s ‘Drive’

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.

Quails – Bic Runga, ‘Drive’ (1997)

I haven’t heard from you in such a long time. You don’t write, you don’t call. You changed my life in ways I didn’t comprehend until it was too late. The way you could simultaneously seduce and sadden your listener, the timbre of your voice accompanied by at times listless, melancholy words or punchier staccato. Now I’m all ears (but I was always all ears).

I remember watching you live at the State Theatre, I must have been 18. It was the first time I was so enraptured by a live performance – of one of my favourites ever of your songs ‘Drive’ – a mere acoustic guitar and that voice. I have always envied the ability to write a song so simplistic yet so moving, so long lasting, so savoured. I cried in the aisle and it was just you and me. Or at least it felt that way.

They don’t make ‘em anymore the way they made you. Even that ditty you served, with a slice of pie, that wasn’t really my bag, but that’s okay because it shone a light you undoubtedly were owed. I was grateful to have you around in the early days, a pivotal voice for women and people of colour, and think some part of you stayed with me til today, overseeing, following my own journey as a singer-songwriter. We always just want to be loved and wrote about the tribulations and the achy hearts.

Like I said, you haven’t been around in a while, but it doesn’t mean we’re not listening. And it doesn’t mean you weren’t so, so important to me, and others. And still are.

Sydney based singer, songwriter and producer Quails has just revealed her evocative new EP, ‘Remedy’.

There’s an spellbinding nostalgia to Quails’ production, her devastatingly lovely electro-pop potions have one foot in the 90’s and another on the same dancefloor as modern major-leaguers like Mansionair, RÜFÜS DU SOL and joy. 

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