This week at VSB, we’re running a series called Albums That Changed My Life in which different writers let you in on the music that helped shape and mold them into the people they are now. Today we hear from Dustin Seibert as he tells us how Tame Impala helped him move on from a difficult part of life.
This story is not of an album that changed my life so much as it’s one that’s connected to the most profound shift in my adult life.
About a decade ago, I dated a young lady named Marie*. Of the many women I’ve gone out with since graduating from college, Marie is singular in that she influenced my musical proclivities unlike any woman before or since her. She put me on to artists and bands—mostly alternative and indie rock—that I likely would never have discovered on my own. We fell into a routine where she would send me new music nearly every week. My playlists—and my musical palate—are all better because of her.
Shortly after I met Junebug*, my wife-to-be, I stopped dating Marie. But I kept up with Marie—writing her maybe once a month on Facebook—with the sole intention of getting new music suggestions from her. When Junebug agreed to move in with me after a year of dating, she did so under the condition that I give up Veritas, my cat of seven years, with whom she didn’t want to live. Marie had grown fond of him and agreed to take him in to prevent me from having to put him in a shelter.
Three months after we moved in, Junebug and I had a massive fight over an innocuous conversation (read: No game was thrown, no nudes traded) I had with a female associate on Facebook that she read in real time from another computer I was logged in on. Though I’d mentioned this woman in passing to Junebug in the past, it essentially incensed her that I was talking to a woman she didn’t know. The fight sent me to stay at my friend’s crib and literally drove me to my knees in tears, begging her not to leave me.
An unwanted consequence of staying together was my need to submit to her invading every corner of my privacy—emails, texts, social media. Her probe revealed that I was still reaching out to Marie for music. I never attempted to hide these interactions from Junebug—especially considering that Marie had adopted my pet—but it was still a problem: She wrote Marie a detailed letter essentially asking if we were still messing around with each other. Of course, Marie forwarded me the letter.
I agreed to cut off Marie, which meant no more music recommendations. But that fight, despite not keeping us from walking down the aisle, set off a degree of mistrust and monitoring that haunted our entire relationship and played a large role in its eventual destruction. When we divorced at the beginning of 2016, one of my first acts of “liberation” was to renew contact with Marie to get new music.
The first album she recommended to me after more than four years: Tame Impala’s Currents.
I’d never heard of the album or the artist. But I fell in love with Currents quickly and deeply. After nearly two years, I still play it like I just discovered it, which I’m not sure I’ve done with any album of any genre. I bought the vinyl and had the jacket professionally framed. I had the album playing when my mama visited me one time and she liked it, so I bought her a copy and she also still plays it like it’s new.
Divorce, as you might imagine, is a traumatic experience that cannot be diminished by the quality of one album—discovering Currents wasn’t “worth” it. But the album has served as a soundtrack to my post-marital life—one whose lyrics just happen to convey the myriad emotions that accompany a breakup. It’s an amazing body of work that will remind me of that period of my life until I’m pushing daisies.
*Names have been changed to protect me from getting fucked up out in these streets.