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5 Albums That Changed My Life with Laura Kebby

Thanks to The Edwards Shop, in the lead up to Record Store Day, we are going to be asking some local legends about the five records that changed their life.

If you’re an avid reader of Newcastle Live, you’ve probably come across Laura Kebby’s name before. She is one of our many talented writers at Newcastle Live, giving you the scoop about the latest and greatest in Novocastria. Her article about violence at shows became the hot topic of the Australian music industry when it was published. When she’s not writing for us; you can catch her spinning words for Newcastle Mirage, Tone Deaf, and The AU Review.

From breakups to tiny shows in the backroom of The Hamo – we asked Kebby about the 5 albums that changed her life.

Jen Buxton – Don’t Change Your Plans

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Don’t Change Your Plans is the album of my 20s. Don’t Change Your Plans, along with the split Jen Buxton did with Lincoln Le Ferve, really changed my perspective on the way I view and appreciate song writing, particularly in relation to navigating complex issues through words. For me, it’s been a breakup album, a quarter life crisis album, a celebration album, an inspiration album, and my absolute go to album.

I’ve met Jen a couple of times, and every time I do, I feel as though she knows far too much about me, because I’ve poured my heart and soul into listening to that album. It it’s even at all possible, that album really knows me better than anyone.

High Tension – Bully

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This is probably the album which most accurately fits the bill of: “changed my life”. I’d never really listened to a lot of harder music, but after watching the video clip for ‘Bully’, I really changed my tune. It’s brutal, intense and deliciously dark. Vocalist Karina Utomo is an unbelievable and unstoppable force, and when I got the chance to interview anyone on the Poison City Weekender line up last year – Karina was such an obvious pick for me. It was my first major face to face interview, and something that was only meant to take about 10 minutes, but spanned over an hour and a half with Karina laying out some incredible words of wisdom that I’ll forever keep in my back pocket.

Anytime I step outside my comfort zone, or am feeling like I’m stepping into unknown territory, this is my go to. I always walk just that little bit taller, feel that little bit better, and crush things a lot harder with some High Tenno flowing through my ears.

Sleater-Kinney – The Woods

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I first heard of Sleater-Kinney when my mum handed me Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl on Christmas morning one year. She said to me, “She’s a writer Laura, and she plays guitar and she wrote a book,” (my mum really wants me to write a book but that’s beside the point). From the very first page I was hooked and it really sparked my deep dive into the Riot Grrrl movement and women in punk.

Picking one album from their huge back catalogue was a task and a half but The Woods was a real turning point for the band, the last album before their huge hiatus. It’s heavier, darker, and really pays homage to the epicenter of crisis and… it features the track ‘Modern Girl’. It’s one of those songs that you can read a thousand ways, but for me, it was really a comment on the way the world views us, and the way we perceive happiness and the lengths we will go to achieve it; “Happy makes me a modern girl”. Although it doesn’t sound like it, its an incredibly dark and complex piece of work and is my favourite song.

The Smith Street Band – Sunshine and Technology

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Anyone that knows me, knows how much lyrics really mean to me. I’m the type of person who really spends a fair chunk of the time I listen to music, wondering what the artist is really trying to say. The Smith Street Band were one of the first ever punk bands I saw live. They are the band which unconsciously introduced me, and united me with some of my closest friends. It was really hard to pick just one Smithies album but Sunshine and Technology and by extension the track ‘I Want Friends’, really helped shape the way I view the world today. It was an unapologetic wake up call for me to start chasing after something I’m actually passionate about and never ever settling for anything less.

“You can’t love anything before and after 9-5

The only thing you cannot buy is time.

And if you saved it, with half the fucking  zest you saved your money

You’d realise there is nothing you need to buy”.

Camp Cope – Camp Cope

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Camp Cope were the band I always needed, but I had no idea just how much. I’ve seen them live many many times, and you’ll forever find me half crying in the front row. They sing and write so unapologetically about the world around them, and took the time to call out issues that have been ignored for so long.

I first saw them play live to six people at the Hamilton Station Hotel the day “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steal Beams” was released, and it’s still one of my favourite shows to date. I kind of became cemented to the ground, because it was as if, for the first time, I finally realised and understood just what I was hearing. It is an album of enormous importance.

Honourable Mention:

Neil Diamond – All Time Greatest Hits

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Behind my punk exterior hides one of the world’s biggest Neil Diamond fans. The man is a genius, and ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ and ‘Cracklin Rosie’ are guaranteed to get me all nostalgic, happy, and dancing like a very happy idiot. I care for him a lot.

Record Store Day 2017 takes place on Saturday, April 22nd. Follow The Edwards Shop’s event for more details.

Written by Spencer Scott

Spencer is a singer/songwriter from Newcastle. He's also a Triple J Unearthed Super User and writes for many national publications.

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