Reminiscence bumps in the road


Ruminations on life, love and the musicverse by Executive Creative Director Blair Kimber

A couple of months ago, I latched the rear doors of the truck filled with remnants of a previous life and pulled onto Paramatta Road for a solo road trip back to Melbourne. A few songs into the journey, mid-The War On Drugs sing-a-long, I was reminded of the power music has to extract such visceral reactions to memories long thought forgotten – how music can mark moments of significance by intertwining the song and the feeling forever. This was one of the moments, and it floored me.

Music is one of the few things with the ability to transcend time. A song ages, yes, but it defies chronology by transporting you back to a previous life. Hands up all those who have a song brutally banished from their life playlist because of an emotional imprint you can’t erase and have no control over.

As a child of the eighties, my love of music starting with listening to albums ‘burnt’ to trusty TDK D90 cassettes. Mix tapes of songs stolen from the FM airwaves and begging friends’ older brothers to copy the latest Bon Jovi record.

Upon entering the ‘adult’ world of earning money, I graduated to the glorious Compact Disc. Yup, that’s right, objectively the pinnacle of audio mediums. Pristine sound, crystal clear, no surface noise. And with every dollar earnt, my collection – nay, obsession – grew and grew.

I lived in Sydney for a good chunk of my 30s. But when an interstate job beckoned, I packed up my crap and left a lot of it in storage. Eventually the time came to shift it all back down the Hume – CDs included. I couldn’t wait to hit the road and listen to 10 hours of music straight – this time was a gift to lose myself in music. My recent musical obsession is The War on Drugs, and there was no better way to kick off the trip.

So, there I was, cruising down Parramatta Road, bopping along to Adam Granduciel and co., settling in to 10 hours of bliss. Then, not three songs in, as I was literally turning on to the Hume, I Don’t Live Here Anymore came through the speakers. And then it hit me: I would never live in Sydney again – certainly not in the way I had ten years ago. This was where I met my wife, formed my greatest friendships and worked out who the hell I was. A defining era. And it was over. Perfectly punctuated by a mere song.

With tears streaming down my cheeks, a whole age and city was forever wrapped up in the 5 minutes and 27 seconds of a song already loved, now etched in my brain and filed under “damn-that-time-in-Sydney-meant-a-helluva-lot-to-me”.

I then realised the music gods really know what they’re doing: they’ll always connect you to the moments that matter most

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