Love Letter To A Record: The Vanns On Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’

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.

The Vanns (Jimmy Vann) — Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’

Dear Grace,

You’ve been with me my whole 23 years of living. Coming out the year I was born in ’94, you’ve stayed so close to me to this day. I hugely thank my old man for constantly spinning your vinyl over and over in my years of growing up.

Before I got into music, in my preschool days I had two songs which I knew every word to and would stand in the corner of my parents’ lounge room, facing the wall, mumbling out the lyrics whenever they came on. It was Ben Folds’ ‘Brick’ and Jeff Buckley’s ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’. I never understood why I did that, neither did my parents, but both of those songs instantly had a huge effect and connection with me from such a young age (I just thought I was a weird kid… I still am).

This was my first taste of Grace, not knowing you’d be one of my favourite and most cherished albums of all time.

At the age of 17 I really started to pull you apart and try to understand you as an album. It was at this point I took up singing. You are the reason I am still singing to this day. I’d be in awe with how Buckley’s songwriting and delivery through voice and instrument could create so many different feels — from a soft romantic dreamlike state to grunge rock fuzz — it was so encapsulating and they juxtaposed so nicely. ‘So Real’ is a perfect example of that.

Let’s go back to ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’. What a vibe. It has been the perfect pick-me-up, feel good song in the album, yet can have me ballin’ my eyes out at the same time. It has the brightest/sweetest guitar tones to what I think is the most beautiful vocal performance on the record. The band deliver and create such a vibe to accompany Buckley’s voice, not only on this song but all tracks on the record. A good or a bad day, this song has been and endlessly will be one of my all time favourites.

The 11-track Grace consists of Buckley’s finest original material along, with some of the best covers we’ve ever heard, ‘Lilac Wine’ being my number one. Your production from start to finish on this album is so spot on, you can just tell there is so much chemistry between Jeff and his band. The album feathers in orchestral strings here and there, and they compliment the music and tie the album together so well.

The third last song on the album says what Grace will have — ‘Eternal Life’.

To an artist who left us too soon with an album which shall live on forever, this is not our Last Goodbye. May you constantly refresh and inspire me as an individual and musician and do the same for many to come.

Much love to Grace,

Jimmy Vann – The Vanns

The Vanns perform at Wollongong’s Your & Owls Festival this weekend, before embarking on their ‘How Was I Supposed To Know’ single launch tour in October. Details below.

The Vanns ‘How Was I Supposed To Know’ Tour Dates

Saturday, 29th September — SOLD OUT

Yours & Owls Festival, Wollongong

Friday, 5th October

Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley

Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 6th October

The Northern, Byron Bay

Tickets: Free Entry

Saturday, 13th October

The Lansdowne, Sydney

Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 19th October

Rocket Bar, Adelaide

Tickets: Moshtix

Saturday, 20th October

Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

Tickets: Eventbrite

Saturday, 3rd November

Fisher’s Gig, Campbelltown

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