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.
SMALLS – The 1975’s, ‘The 1975’ (2013)
It’s funny when you think about it, because this one record frames the basis of what I would take influence from over the next 7 years when it came out in 2013. The 1975’s self-titled debut was an entryway to me for everything New Wave had to offer. The record was a Frankenstein of The Police, INXS, Bowie, Prince… the list goes on. I played this record to death, and then, as we all do with our new loves, I Googled ‘bands like The 1975’ and hence started [down] the rabbit hole.
I discovered this record at a pivotal time. I was born and raised in rural NSW and had moved 500km away to Sydney to study music at university. The big city, as you would expect, bit me in the ass. I was young and naive; doing my best to get into all of the bands that everyone was listening to at the time so I could join in on conversations. Matty Healy’s melancholy lyrics coupled with optimistic melodies were hugely relatable during this time.
What struck me most about this record was the production and songwriting. Each track seems like a simple pop or rock song at first listen, but when you put your headphones in, it quickly becomes a rich tapestry of layers of vocoders, samples, guitar lines and synths. In saying that, the beauty lies in the opposite of what you would think – the songs are never busy or messy. All of the layers twist themselves around each other flawlessly. Songs like ‘Heart Out’ and ‘Settle Down’ display this best.
This record inspired me to write songs that make you not only want to move, but also dissect and critically really listen to.
Sydney-based alternative-pop artist SMALLS has just revealed his debut single ‘Tail Lights’, produced and mixed by Lewis Mitchell (Birds of Tokyo, JOY, The Jezabels).
It’s a sparkly indie-pop gem, with a dreamy wash of verby guitars and soaring vocals that’ll leave you giddy.
Take it for a spin below!