Love Letter To A Record: Stupid Baby’s Will Glencross On Modern Life Is War’s ‘Midnight In America’

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.

Stupid Baby: Modern Life Is War – Midnight In America (2007)

I think it’s a common thing for people who live and breathe music to have a defining record in their life. A record that feels like it was written just for them. Lyrics and riffs that somehow align with the moment that they were at in life when they found it. I can remember that moment so vividly, it’s almost surreal.

A weekend afternoon spent sitting at the home computer on the dial-up internet trawling forums and blogs looking for new music (i.e. the Myspace era), I found a link to Midnight In America by Modern Life Is War. I remember waiting for the download to finish and hitting play, hoping it wasn’t a President Clinton speech or some other garbage that was pretty typical if you were downloading music off of random fan sites.

The first line came tearing out of my shitty monitors — “Cut through the haze, the loneliness won’t last” — and I was fucking hooked. The production was raw and powerful, nothing was perfect but the immediateness and the importance of the music to the performers was so real and tangible I could almost taste it.

To me, this was everything, I couldn’t care less about clarity of tone or clever key changes, I didn’t understand the need for everything to be perfect. I was young and felt separate from the world and there was a group of 5 people in a small town in the middle of America that felt the exact same as me. I can’t describe the validation that this gave to feelings that I couldn’t understand at the time.

Almost 13 years later and countless tattoos from the lyrics and imagery surrounding the record, Jake (Dobson, vocalist) and myself finally got to see MLIW in a small local venue with probably 20 other people and I sang every word for the teen in me that felt that acceptance and inclusion from 40 minutes of music.

I could go on forever about how this record has defined my life, both musically and not, but more than anything, I hope you’ve found your record too.

Stupid Baby are an indie-rock quartet from the NSW Central Coast, featuring long-time friends Liz Drummond (Little May), Jake Dobson (Desert Moons), Eli Milojkovic (Sea Legs) and Will Glencross.

They’ve just unveiled their stunning debut single ‘Feline’, produced by Simon Dobson (Bootleg Rascal) and mixed by Dylan Adams (DMA’s, Skegss, The Gooch Palms, West Thebarton).

Deliciously dark and slinky as its name, ‘Feline’s combo of doomy guitars, prowling bass and the dreamy Yin & Yang vocal meld of Drummond and Dobson makes for a mesmerising, singular sound. The wealth of talent here is undeniable.

Listen to ‘Feline’ below and catch the group performing live at the inaugural Rolling Sets festival in Coffs Harbour this month, alongside Hilltop Hoods, The Rubens, Mallrat and George Alice.

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