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.
Tim Aitken, SAMETIME – The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, (2016)
Dear The 1975,
Sam and I grew up listening to the music dad had on around the house, a lot of The Eagles, James Taylor and the Robbie Williams Live at Knebworth concert (which deserves its own love letter). Once I began writing music it was all in a similar vein, acoustic folk songs and big power ballads. I hated the thought of using anything electronic like synths. Although I was in love with the artists that I grew up listening to, I never had a favourite band, an artist that I could listen to on repeat.
It was 2016 and I was at home watching the shows from the BBC Big Weekend over in the UK and that’s when The 1975 playing ‘The Sound’ comes on. I don’t know how to explain it but I will try, it was like my ears finally connected to something. I replayed that video over and over again, watching everyone on stage, looking at the instruments they were playing and listening to the sounds they created. I instantly downloaded all of the stock Logic Pro X synth VSTs and just played chords for hours, exploring all types of synthetic sounds I had in front of me.
I wanted to know more and learn more from The 1975, so for the next couple of months I had their songs on repeat. I became a student of theirs, watching and reading anything I could find on the internet. I quickly found myself writing songs with all the same elements as The 1975 but with my own twists and turns.
I saw them live 4 months after my initial discovery at Splendour in the Grass and I stood still watching in awe right at the front whilst a crowd of 15,000 drugged up youth danced around me. ‘The Sound’ was the last song of their set and there’s one part near the end before a big guitar solo, Matty Healy (the frontman) counts down for everyone to jump on the drop.
It was like a scene out of a movie as I turned around and watched the massive wave of flailing body parts jumping up and down. This was when I knew that I wanted to make music that people, no matter where they were or who they were with, lost control.
The 1975 made me want to get better at producing music and creating sounds. I love the way they use bright, vibrant sounds to contrast their sour lyricism. They made me broaden the music I listened to, expanding my sound pallet and my understanding of pop music.
The 1975 were the first band that my brother and I both loved. They became our band’s first inspiration in terms of what we wanted to be.
It’s a deep love we have for this band because without them we would still be buskers playing covers and average folk songs.
Thank you The 1975……thank you.
Love from Tim Aitken (SAMETIME)