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Love Letter To A Record: Wrabel On Aqualung’s ‘Strange and Beautiful’

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.

Wrabel – Aqualung, Strange and Beautiful(2005)

Dear Aqualung’s Strange and Beautiful,

Thank you. Thank you for sitting on the shelf at Barnes and Noble in Houston, Texas. And whoever put you there, in that exact spot at the end of the aisle, thank you. As cliche and dramatic as it sounds, you changed my life. You showed me something within myself that I did not know was there. You opened some kind of portal to the mystical and magical. To the deep dark and the bright white light within me. It feels like you put some kind of glasses over my eyes – I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the world the same. Your lyrics, your melodies, your chords, the voicings. The highs and lows. The big and the small. Front to back, track by track, you showed me myself. The pain, the heartbreak, the longing. I felt it.

As odd as it may sound, I think I craved it. I had never felt love before, never felt loss of love before – but it’s all I wanted. To let myself be me and to let someone see me and know me and love me. Until I could find my way years later, you showed me and warned me and guided me. ‘Brighter than Sunshine’ you showed me what I wanted. The love and light and joy. Strange and Beautiful, you made me feel like I wasn’t the only person in the world wanting to cast a spell on someone to just love me. Every song you hold gave me something. Changed me in some way. Showed me something.

I can’t write you a love letter without going on about ‘Easier to Lie’. Thank you for seeing me and understanding me. Thank you for giving me a space to run to. One of the coolest things about music to me is that everyone that hears a song will take a different meaning. Will hear a slightly different story. I think that’s because when a real listener is really listening, we are bringing ourselves – all that we are – into the song. You found me deep in the closet, scared of everything – even my own self. I know this song is not about being a queer person, not about a queer experience, but for me it was and it is. Thank you for creating a safe space within my own head and heart and bedroom and car and wherever I had you with me.

I would never have written a song without you. I hope you know that. Thank you thank you thank you. A million times over, thank you.

Today, Wrabel unveils his highly anticipated debut full-length album ‘these words are all for you’. Listen here.

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