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.
Sammi Constantine – Missy Higgins’ The Sound Of White
I think my relationship with music is a sort of love-hate relationship. Because I take advantage of it when I’m sad, anxious or depressed. I abuse my favourite songs by putting them on repeat until I’m so damn sick of them. I only write when I need to let something out. But when I’m OK, happy and busy, I hardly listen and I try to stay away from it so that I don’t become distracted. I am obsessed with music but I can (at times) live without it because I don’t always like being influenced by other people’s songs and I’m often overstimulated by new sounds, too many melodies and the amount of new music that is born everyday. This sounds weird to admit, especially to me, as a songwriter… but music is so special that I have taught myself to use it when I need it and study it for my mental state and for my career. It wasn’t always like this though.
When I was younger, I was a dancer so I was constantly introduced to new music and in a strange way, new ways of thinking, feeling and even speaking. It had a massive impact on me. I danced from 3-21 years old, so it was a pretty massive part of my life.
I think the two most impactful records that still hit me the hardest, even to this day are, Coldplay – Fix You and pretty much anything from Missy Higgins album The Sound Of White.
The Sound Of White was my first introduction to metaphorical songwriting. Most pop music was so hollow and predictable for me (lyrically) even in the 90’s but there’s something about the way that Missy described a feeling or a situation, that just makes me just fall to my knees every time I listen to anything from off that album.
My two favourite lines from her record ‘Special Two’ is and always will be “I remember someone old once said to me…. that lies will lock you up, with truth the only key” and “so it is better to tell and hurt or lie to save their face, I guess the answer is don’t do it in the first place”.
These lines are so simple and even literal compared to a lot of her content, yet they have so much power and come from so much wisdom. From what it sounds like, personal experience plays a huge part in her storytelling, which is personally my favourite part of songwriting.
Also for me, Coldplay’s Fix You represents a time in my life that was so dark and so unsafe. I was very young and needed to be stronger than most people my age. The song itself helped me out of my reality and was my medicine throughout the darkness. I can’t even listen to the song without breaking down in hysterical tears, even to this day. It’s incredible how much emotion and power one song can have over me. It breaks me, as if I been punched in the face but in the best way (if that’s even possible).
Missy Higgins taught me to write about real and honest things and to do so in the most beautiful way possible. Even if the context was dark and came from pain. Coldplay taught me the importance of writing timeless music. Something that stays relevant even after it’s been put on a shelf for 10 years. It’s helped me to understand that music can be the best medicine in times where nothing else can be there for you. Without music, I think a lot of people would be a lot worse off.
Sammi Constantine xxx
Aussie electronic-pop artist Sammi Constantine’s new single ‘Feel Your Body’ is out now. Listen here.