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.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Josh Blashki, Approachable Members of Your Local Community – Jamiroquai’s Travelling Without Moving
Dear Travelling without Moving,
Your infectious grooves saved me in the Summer of 2016. Having returned home from travels with an unrelenting stomach bug, I developed severe anxiety and couldn’t get myself out of bed. The whole world had fallen apart around me, everything had lost meaning and I didn’t know what to do.
Fortunately, I had moved home at this point, to my family’s place, and had the support of both my parents and girlfriend who had moved in with me. But all I could do was stare at the blank ceiling above my bed. I was totally numb and all sensory input was causing me to freak out. I was terrified.
I explained these experiences to my dad, who completely understood. But, he explained that contemplation of these ideas shouldn’t cause me to panic, that you can laugh about the randomness in the world. You can be paradoxical. Life can be serious and random. He also explained neuro-plasticity to me, and said that I had to force myself to re-engage – to reconnect, normalise and stabilise my world.
I remember forcing myself out of bed sometime in January, in board shorts and a tee, putting headphones in my ears and looking for some music that would make me feel something. Having grown up surrounded by funk, surely Jamiroquai could move me. I danced to ‘Virtual Insanity’ like a total weirdo around my childhood block for an hour and felt joy I hadn’t in months. This was the beginning of my re-engaging with the world.
I still struggle with some of these ideas, but creating and listening to music massively helps me and I’m also able to laugh about randomness. I now tend to smile more than cry about the paradoxes in our world. The fact that we live and die, the subjectivity of the human experience, that we are motivated by a randomly evolved biology and cultures we don’t control. I don’t freak out about these things anymore and I view life as a privilege and a gift, keeping my cynicism in line.
Thanks Jamirquai you funky human.
Approachable Members of Your Local Community
Approachable Members of Your Local Community’s debut EP ‘If There’s Anything You Need, Please Don’t Hesitate To Contact Us’ is out right now and you can listen to it here (go on, do it).
And you can also catch them touring the release live across the East Coast this September. Dates here.