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.
Michael Murphy, Written By Wolves – Hands Like Houses, Dissonants(2016)
Dear Hands Like Houses,
Thank you. Thank you for, Dissonants and thank you for showing me and bands like mine that even though we are down here in New Zealand and Australia that it is possible to foot it with the biggest acts in the world in our genre. I don’t think it is possible to overstate just how influential it was to hear an album like this come from this part of the world.
As with most of the music that has greatly influenced me over my lifetime I can still remember exactly where I was when I was first introduced to Dissonants – standing at Written By Wolves dingy little practise space that was actually a storage unit in an industrial area of Auckland.
Our guitarist, Bahador (or Beej) came in heralding the album and claiming (and I quote) “these are the greatest melodies I’ve ever heard!” As someone who is deeply and innately competitive this really got my back up (this is something I am working on, but I digress), but I went home and immediately put the album on to see for myself just how good these melodies actually were…I was hooked from the opening seconds. I am always drawn to the lyrics and vocals of a song and every single line of this album is magic. Nothing is filler, no moment is wasted. Trenton’s voice is equal parts intense and beautiful throughout.
Every time I’d listen through I’d find another nugget of gold that I may have missed in earlier listens. It really is a gift that keeps on giving. But it’s not just the vocals, it is everything. You showed us that you could be heavy and melodic at the same time and that you could make those in the northern hemisphere take notice while keeping those in Australasia engaged as well.
I can only imagine the energy you must have all felt when you first heard the breakdown hit in the final mix of ‘Colourblind’, those are life moments that you never forget. I still listen to this album all the time and I love the way it shows the progression to your newer work, but it is incredible just how well it has held up. You could release Dissonants again tomorrow and it would still be groundbreaking.
So thank you once again. Thank you for releasing this album, for paving the way for bands like us and for continuing to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre that I love.
Written By Wolves
Written By Wolves, have recruited Trenton Woodley of Hands Like Houses for a re-imagined version of ‘Better Luck Next Time’, out now. The track is the second single from Written By Wolves’ upcoming EP, ‘The Collab Project’, due out on September 17.