5 Albums That Changed My Life with Rachel Maria Cox

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. From car jams with mum & dad, to the music that inspires them today. It’s all about the records who made them who they are.

Rachel Maria Cox is a local singer/songwriter originally from Western Sydney. Their 2016 EP I Just Have A Lot Of Feeling was a landmark release for the non-binary artist, and we named them one of our Top 5 Newcastle Acts To Watch in 2017. Rachel Maria Cox is currently in the process of crowdfunding for their debut LP, and has already raised a whopping $5,000 for the project. The campaign still has until the end of the week, so head over to Pozible to learn more.

We met up with Rachel Maria Cox at The Edwards Shop to talk about everything from being a rockstar with a piano, to poor internet connections in hospitals:

Graceland by Paul Simon

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This was a record we listened to a lot when I was growing up. My dad doesn’t listen to a heap of music so this was one of the few records that both he and my mum liked, and as a result we listened to it a lot on car trips and things like that.

As a child I remember really liking the South African elements of this record, the vocal harmonies from the choirs in tracks like ‘I know What I Know’ and ‘Homeless’ just absolutely captivated me, and it’s definitely been an interest of mine ever since.

I also remember as a kid thinking the lyrics were really silly and funny, so listening to it now I get something different out of it every time I hear it, which is nice. It’s the sort of album that keeps giving as I grow and I like that in a record.

Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia by The Dandy Warhols

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This was an album that my mum really loved and as a result I listened to from a very young age too. It was released just before I turned six, so I was completely oblivious to the culture that surrounded the band and the record, I didn’t understand any of the drug references or any of that, but my early memories of this album are of singing along to it in the car with my mum.

We’ve always sung a lot of harmonies so singing along in the car to things was something we’ve always done. If we listened to it on the way home from family functions I have memories of falling asleep to some of the more drone-y songs (specifically ‘Sleep’, but also ‘Big Indian’ and ‘The Gospel’).

I think in the last seventeen years there’s never been a time where I didn’t want to listen to this album, I’ve listened to it consistently my entire life and I’ve always loved it.

From The Choirgirl Hotel by Tori Amos

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This album was the album that made me want to learn piano. It was another one my Mum had that I listened to as a child, and again I totally missed any contextual or cultural relevance it had – I’d never listened to any other Tori Amos before this but it was just weird and wonderful. I think the reason I liked this so much was it was the first time I realised I could be a pianist but also a rock star.

Art Angels by Grimes

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When this record came out, I was in hospital for Anorexia Nervosa (binge purge type). One of the things that had triggered me to relapse into an eating disorder was a severe sense of gender dysphoria after realising I was non-binary. Grimes is an artist who actively rejects the gender binary while still embracing femininity – this record had such an impact on me because it blended the fierceness and strength I wanted to have with elements of traditionally feminine aesthetic.

The thing was, on the day this came out I was inpatient and the internet was down so I couldn’t stream it. I had to leave my laptop to buffer all day in the sunroom (The only room that got any kind of internet signal) while we went to groups and meals, and I’d duck back in, listen to one song, and have to go and leave it again. I think it’s the most effort I’ve ever gone to to hear an album on the day it was released, because I knew how much it would mean to me.

O Vertigo by Kate Miller-Heidke

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This album got me through my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as the break up and subsequent hospitalisation that lead to that diagnosis. It was exactly the record I needed for what was going on in my life at that time and I was then and still am a massive fan of Kate Miller-Heidke

Given why this album was and is so significant to me, I don’t know about my favourite song but the song that best encapsulates why it was so significant as well as being one of my favourites is ‘Rock This Baby To Sleep’. Again lots of vocal harmonies, very simple and beautiful, and I think I cried myself to sleep more than a couple of times to this song.

Photo taken at The Edwards Shop. RecordStore Day 2017 takes place on Saturday, April 22nd.

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