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 new 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.
Celia Archer, The Big Moon: Avril Lavigne – ‘Let Go’
Dear Let Go,
R U aware of what u make me feel :S?
I mean this album was everything to me when it came out. My parents got it for me for Christmas when I was 12, along with my first crappy acoustic guitar and I spent pretty much the whole day in my room with the CD on repeat. My Godmother came over for lunch and taught me some chords and we figured out how to play ‘Things I’ll never say’ and I played it and sang it over and over again until everyone began to regret all of their choices.
I’d spent the last year scrawling lyrics to ‘Sk8er boi’ over my English book, saved up and bought myself a skull and cross-bones sweatband at Claire’s accessories and I had so. many. feelings. Pent up pre-teen-in-suburbia feelings. Kat Stratford had taught me that angry girl music of the indie-rock persuasion spoke to me in ways that nothing else really could and when Avril came along, she felt like the first mainstream act of my generation that was a girl, on her own, playing guitar, hanging with the guys, skating and being kinda grungy. At that point, I didn’t really understand that rock artists could be manufactured in the same way as pop acts were. I thought that if you played guitar in your video then you actually played it on your whole album and wrote all your own songs. She made things feel possible.
And it’s sad how fickle you are at that age. Probably six months later I thought she was the lamest thing ever. Or, I grew up a bit and saw through some of the construction, which made me feel like she was lamer than some of the other straight up pop acts I loved at that time. But before writing this piece I sat with my best friend and listened back through it for the first time in forever and it’s so full of bangers! ‘I’m With You’ still fills me with emotion. ‘Too Much to Ask’ is the song every teen needs to help you realise your s/o is kind of a douchebag and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. ‘Losing my Grip’ is angst-ridden perfection. And she RAPS guys, she RAPS! What more do you want?!
Also, from a quick visit to Avril’s wiki page, I learned that Ian McKellen once called her “a punk chanteuse, a post-grunge valkyrie, with the wounded soul of a poet and the explosive pugnacity of a Canadian”. Amazing.
The Big Moon’s debut album ‘Love In the 4th Dimension’ is out today, April 7th. Listen here.