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.
Suburban – Mac Miller, Swimming(2018)
It fills me with immeasurable sorrow that I’ll never have the chance to tell you of the immense influence you’ve had on me, not only as an artist, but as a human. That my aspirations to sit in front of you and delve into that depth of talent and creativity, so rare even among your peers, will never come to fruition. That I’ll never get to experience your well-documented aura and ability to light up a room or even a moment.
But you do continue to give me something every day as an artist and fellow human being. You give me a blueprint for fearless growth that motivates me to challenge myself endlessly in music and inspires me to try and create warmth and love in any environment I’m a part of, even in the darker times. You illuminate a path that strays from conforming to expectations and travels the ever-winding emotional journey within. You hand down hope that you can find yourself as a person through music by being honest in the most fearless of ways, all whilst accepting skepticism and criticism as uncontrollable collateral damage as you continue towards a destination of self-fulfillment and happiness.
We watched you grow up as a Nike-wearing, frozen pizza-loving kid, into a young adult baring your faults and battles without hesitation, before resting in a serene finale that many of us may find tragic, but I have a suspicion you may have seen as a beautiful end to your pursuit of happiness and acceptance.
Swimming has had more than just a profound artistic impact on me, but it was a near-cinematic moment of peace that lives on as inspiration that, despite a journey filled with sadness, struggle and trauma, there is a happiness in reach for all of us. Every song from the upbeat ‘What’s The Use?’ to the heartfelt ‘2009’ show a serenity that never strays from the hunger to create magic in your music. It’s contentment without complacency. Above all, though, it’s perfectly imperfect.
There are so many musical reasons that I love this album. You may not be the most classically great singer, but you sing when the moment feels right. You enjoy endless wordplay without the need to make it a competition. You respect your strengths and place in hip-hop and music without being egotistical about it. You self-reflect without needing to bring anybody down in the process. You accept your faults without self-pitying. You find happiness without making it unrelatable and cheesy (even if you will always be “Easy Mac with the cheesy raps”).
I carry all of these as artistic influences along with many other aspects of your catalogue that inspire me consistently, and that will always live on. But this album truly made me fall in love with the human behind them, because you reached a point in life that I – like many of us – have always been striving for and you did it in your own lane, in your own time.
Thank you, Mac Miller,
Suburban is a “genre-fluid” Sydney-based artist who’s gearing up to release an ambitious film project dubbed ‘[S]LEEP [A]LL [D]AY, [F]EAST [U]PON [N]IGHT ‘ (or ‘[S][A][D], [F][U][N]’ for short).
The project is essentially a short film, soundtracked by an original 12-track mixtape, which lays bare the artist’s struggles with bipolar disorder, insomnia, alcoholism and suicide.
Ahead of the film soundtrack’s official release on August 27, Suburban has shared new single ‘Unbreakable’, a defiant dance-bop in the face of broken down relationships and is an excerpt from the first half of the film dealing with the depressive side of bipolar disorder.
Listen below or set a reminder for the film’s digital premiere here.