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.
Client Liaison – John Farnham’s Whispering Jack
This was a record where we delved deep into the booklet, studying the credits in great detail. When it came time to mix our first EP we started plugging names into Google in an effort to see if there was anyone we could potentially work with. Desperate to attain the same sound as Whispering Jack ourselves, we did manage to find out the studio it was mixed in and naively thought that if we mixed our EP in that room that maybe we’d channel the spirit of the almighty man himself.
This type of dissection of an album isn’t common for us. Not often are we moved enough to literally try and track down those whom were involved in its creation. Following their careers, particularly David Hirschfelder’s, you begin to see the high concentration of talent that worked on this album. Still today, the sound of Whispering Jack is immaculate.
Beginning with ‘Pressure Down’, this deadly groove and unforgettable melody and is the definition of an earworm, leaving us with that feeling of, ‘damn why didn’t we write that’? We’re also big fans of the music video edit, which has additional production, a juicer mix and a classic 80’s collage clip.
Next is ‘You’re the Voice’, which — although it initially failed to gain popularity with radio stations — has since ascended to the upper echelons of Australia’s parthenon of 100% certified tunes. While combining rapid, sharp claps and a sweeping bagpipe solo doesn’t necessarily appear to be particularly agreeable on paper, ‘You’re The Voice’ has nevertheless become the definitive Australian song; a proverbial banner under which all Australians can unite and sing as one.
While Whispering Jack sets the bar frighteningly high quite early on, each track to follow provides a new sense of awareness and perspective into the state of affairs for Farnham, and indeed the nation. ‘Reasons’ breathtaking vocals and thoughtful lyrics speak to the human condition and an innate sense of hope, which is a bit of a running theme throughout this album. With every twist and turn of emotion, it all makes sense when it’s delivered with Farhnam’s impeccable but earnest delivery. From the power of ‘Love to Shine’, to the sweet new-age beauty of ‘Touch Of Paradise’, we are left with nothing but fuzzy feelings.
In many ways, Whispering Jack speaks to the very same ethos that we Client Liaison are all about – a record that is simultaneously bold and subtle, wild yet cosmopolitan, sophisticated in it’s sound but raw in its conviction. It’s also reflective of a shared sense of courage and confidence in being one’s self. “We’re all someone’s daughter. We’re all someone’s son”. Whether it be as part of a contemporary singalong, or during an era of true 80’s excess, there is a collective identity to be found in Farnham’s music, that is just as much shared as it is personal. But it’s not enough to simply feel this way – you’ve got to express it, in as unique a manner possible! After all, you’re the voice, try and understand it, make a noise, and make it clear. Oh-wo-wo-wo, oh-wo-wo-wo!
Harvey and Monte
Catch the legendary John Farnham performing live with Client Liaison at their huge Expo Liaison festival in Melbourne this Saturday, 18th August
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