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Love Letter To A Record: Seaside’s Darcy Dexter On The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’

Written by Darcy Dexter on November 26, 2019

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.

Darcy Dexter, Seaside: The Cure – Disintegration (1989)

Dear Disintegration,

I’m writing to you from the beach, it’s overcast and even though there is no surf, there are still at least 15 people out trying to catch a non-existent wave. I’m listening to you again, it’s not a rarity, it’s just that you really are a part of my routine. A constant reminder of why I love music so much.

You were created before I was born, I remember the first time I heard you it felt like I was born in the wrong era – I had wished so much to be a teenager and going to gigs when you had released this. Watching you live seemed like a distant dream.

I was only a child when I heard you, yet I was still impacted. The vocals, the guitars, the synths… I had never heard anything like it and I was hooked. Fast-forward a few years to high school, I would sit on the school bus with a Discman and listen to you so loud through awful headphones. I didn’t care if it hurt my ears, I was just so happy to let every song wash over me and feel like I was a part of it all.

I was obsessed with ‘Lovesong’, the guitar riff that you never wanted to finish, the synth line that complimented Robert Smith’s voice so perfectly. The way he sang so you could hear how he felt, it got me good, right in the heartstrings. I was angsty, I thought I’d experienced heartbreak and I wanted to yell this song to the boy who hurt me and I wanted him to beg me to take him back (looking back I’m so glad I didn’t, I can’t even remember his name now). You helped me acknowledge emotions, you turned me into a romantic.

You got me through some hard times, learning about myself and growing into a young woman — I made so many friends just by asking if they loved your songs as much as I did, and then we would bond over why and which ones were our favourite at the time. It’s a beautiful thing, your ability to tie people together — your relatability.

‘Plainsong’ is the perfect opener, it’s atmospheric wind chimes are such a beautiful addition. It builds slowly, the faint guitar, the lo-fi snare… it’s the perfect ‘sit down and buckle up’ kind of song — I love that about it. The delay in the vocals, carrying onto the next line — such a great touch. The perfect amount of build-up before ‘Pictures Of You’ blesses my ears. Again, the wind chimes in ‘Pictures Of You’ — nobody uses them like you do. It makes me want to go to a music shop and buy the place out of them, just to set up a big wind chime room and sit and revel in my creation.

For me, lyrics are the biggest part of a song, you in your entirety made me want to be a better writer. You create such a clear image, like a movie in my head and ever since, I’ve wanted to do the same.

‘Lullaby’ makes me feel like I’m in a dark twisted dream, not scary but just strange. I think that’s exactly what you wanted me to feel, and as an adult, it hits me harder. It reminds me of all the times I’ve felt dark inside, but it reminds me I’m never alone. The strings in this song really make it, the perfect balance of eerie and beautiful.

I can’t even pick a favourite song because everyone is different for its own way but consistent with its sound.

Fast-forward to my mid-twenties, I was with the love of my life, on my way to watch The Cure play. I remember warning him that I would cry, I knew I’d be so overwhelmed that I would and I bloody did. But I didn’t want to miss a second so I just let myself cry silently while they played all of these songs that had sculpted who I am now.

The Cure made me want to be a better musician and a better writer. At this point we’d started Seaside… We started drawing inspiration from new wave and post-punk, this album was my first choice for inspiration — I saved up with the help of my Dad and bought a new guitar, a pink strat, something that would encourage me to keep playing, even when I felt like I wasn’t getting any better.

I searched for pedals to emulate the guitar sounds this record captures, we experimented with synths, we dived into this genre and we aren’t returning. We like it in here, this pool of driving guitar riffs, synths, lo-fi drums, booming bass lines — we’re going to swim forever with thanks to you — come for a dip, the waters nice.

Have a nice day,

Darc

Seaside are a four-piece indie band from Byron Bay with a sultry dream-pop sound who just slayed their BIGSOUND 2019 showcase. Listen to their latest single ‘Home Remedies’ — and catch their list of 2019 tour dates — below.

Seaside 2019 Tour Dates

Friday, 6th December
Indi Bar, Perth WA

Saturday, 7th December
Yalls Summer Fest, Yallingup WA

Sunday, 8th December
Mojo’s, Fremantle WA

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