Love Letter To A Record: The Glorious Sons’ Brett Emmons On Jackson Browne’s ‘Running On Empty’

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.

Brett Emmons, The Glorious Sons – Jackson Browne’s Running On Empty

Before I heard Jackson Browne, all my heroes were rockstars, they weren’t really humans. I was in a band, and my approach to singing and songwriting was to try and emulate what I heard from the monsters of the 70s. Everything had to be badass, or loud or great.

I was 15, and hanging out with my brother and his friend Scott one summer, when I heard ‘The Load Out/Stay’. It was the first time I recognised a man sing like he talked. You could hear him trying to sing, like it wasn’t coming easy to him. Every bit of insecurity and wavering piece combined into a labouring, beautiful voice.

But it wasn’t just his singing. The things he talked about were directly related to himself. They weren’t whimsical tales, they were simple, sensitive songs about love, friendship, loss, depression and uncertainty. They were deeply introspective and there was a sense of questioning everything about himself and the world around him, always.

Rock and roll was never so simple again. That summer, Jackson Browne gave me the courage to begin writing about myself and provided me the insight to understand that there is strength in modesty.

Jackson Browne made it cool to be a 15 year old kid, that had no clue what he was doing when he picked up a guitar and tried singing.

The Glorious Sons’ new album ‘Young Beauties & Fools’ is out now. The band will perform in Brisbane and Sydney this weekend — details here.

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