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Love Letter To A Record: The Nicoteenagers On Kings Of Leon’s ‘Because of the Times’

Written by Luke Shinton on February 7, 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.


Luke Shinton, The Nicoteenagers – Kings Of Leon: ‘Because of the Times’

To Because of the Times,

When we were throwing around albums to write this letter about, I’m not sure how you, in your obnoxiously southern rock and roll glory, weren’t the first pick. Your opening track ‘Knocked Up’ was the first song Nicoteenagers front man, and my partner in crime, Drew and I ever jammed together. I was no stranger to busting out Kings of Leon songs in the music room of our country town high school, but until a couple years later when I’d get asked to play bass in the earliest incarnation of The Nicoteenagers, Drew was just that cool random guy I had that one cool random kings of Leon jam with.

I can’t really say exactly when I fell in love with you. But I do remember noticing bass fuzz for the first time on ‘Mcfearless’, and absolutely losing my mind, not realising that bass sound would end up becoming The Nicoteenager’s not-so-secret weapon. I (vaguely) remember some of the many times ‘On Call’ would come on at gatherings or parties, and even through the haze of smoke and alcohol my friends would all sing along, knowing that wherever we go in life, we’d all still be around in some way or another.

I remember in year 11, a couple months after I had decided I was going to focus entirely on being a bass player, I finished learning the bass parts on your final song ‘Arizona.’ That’s the moment where you, and only you, went down as the only album I’ve learned in its entirety.

It’s so hard to remember and put into words all of the moments you have affected me, just because there’s so many of them. An important part of my musical and personal development, you’ll always be there. Even through my pretentious-music-student-studying-jazz phase, or the couple years when I was in a string of hardcore bands, or my current obsession with being able to play bass like Thundercat; You’ve always been pretty consistent in my rotation of music.

So to come full circle to the start of this letter, Thank you Because of the Times.

Without you I might not have had that jam with Drew.

I might not have thought he was cool and jumped at the chance of being in his band.

He might not have introduced me to our drummer Pat.

I might not have ended up playing in this band, being able to play music I love with the people I love.

Love from Luke.

Stream The Nicoteenagers latest single ‘Big Thing’, here.

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