Sometimes my relationship with music is a bit like my friendships.
When you first meet and know nothing about each other, it’s exciting; there is so much to discover and learn. You get on really well, are full of anticipation and hope the relationship is going to last for many years. This goes on for a while and eventually you might back off a little bit, but ideally the first flush of excitement will turn into something more solid, which which will endure in years to come.
As you get older certain music has associations with different stages in your life and when the artists you loved, have moved on, changed direction or gone off the rails, you can feel let down and like you’ve lost a part of your life. It’s rare that musicians that you liked in your 20’s, will still be making music that resonates as strongly when you are in your 40’s. There’s nothing more disappointing to hear that one of your favourite old bands has reformed to make a new album, only to find they have a new ‘electro’ sound or have become ‘conceptual’. Of course simple re-creating the past is equally sad.
Kate Bush was 19 when she wrote The Kick Inside, which I now find amazing. The lyrics on that album, resonated in a way that no other album ever will again. It was very much a part of my adolescence and helped me through much teenage angst. I still love every song on it (although it makes my teens cry – and not with joy!). I also love her new work and although I don’t my life is reflected in her lyrics any more, I still associate with lots of her emotions.
Tracey Thorn is another artist who has been with me through most of my adult life. I loved the Marine Girls and Everything but the Girl was the soundtrack to my college years (again my house mates cringed and called her depressing). When Tracey was lost in the child yearing years, so was I.
But now shes back with a new album, Love and its Opposite, and I have it on a loop. She hasn’t let me down. She sings about marriage, divorce, children and growing older. My favourite song is Hormones, which has the opening line, ‘yours are just kicking in and mine are just checking out’.
Oh Tracey, thank you for sticking with me and providing the sound track to my life so far……