16 August 2013

Songs of influence

It’s been my life-long dream to go on radio and play my favourite songs, especially Savage Garden - and last Thursday I did it! I was so excited to have been invited onto Are You Looking At Me? on 3CR - it's a conversation show about equality and difference, with conversations about disability and also the music the guests choose to play. The show is hosted by the lovely Liz Wright - she made me feel so comfortable and I could have spoken to her for hours. I think I've made a great new friend. It was a great afternoon having a chat about blogging life and music. I did sing in the studio (mics off) and I did have a cider. Doing the radio interview was ironic given I wrote about conversations that day. Listen to my interview here.

This little collection was really hard to curate. I love so many bands, and all music has had some sort of impact on my life. But alas! I was limited to three songs! I like Australian music and good lyrics - these songs fit that bill.

Savage Garden – To the Moon and Back

Darren Hayes has been the love of my life. I first saw Savage Garden’s I Want You video clip on Rage in August 1996 and loved the look and sound of the band. I made a decision that this is the band I was going to love and follow. To The Moon And Back is probably my favourite Savage Garden song, though I have a big list of favourites by Darren Hayes. I particularly love the acoustic version of the song. I’ve seen Savage Garden live three times – the first time was an under 18s show at the now-bulldozed Palace Theatre in St Kilda in 1997 (for $18!), then twice at Rod Laver Arena in 1998 and 2000. I’ve seen Darren solo lots of times, and met him too. Last time I met him I flew to Sydney to see him at the Enmore. About 30 fans waited for him outside after the show. He had lost his voice so couldn’t talk. When it was finally my chance to meet him, I whispered “I love you Darren” and he said “I love you too, Carly”. Neighbourhood noise restrictions prevented me from squealing loudly, but I was squealing inside! I didn’t only develop a love of Savage Garden’s music – the band brought me passion, excitement, a sense of identity and strong friendship. I love being a fan. I love the rush of energy seeing bands live, of meeting the singers and of collecting information about posters about my idols. I have a whole box of Darren Hayes and Savage Garden stuff, plus 90+ CDs that I asked my parents to save when the bushfires were close to their house.

Bob Evans - Nowhere Without You

I first heard Bob Evans (alter ego of Kevin Mitchell) in 2006 during a difficult part of my life. I had escaped an ongoing confidence-destroying situation in Melbourne for four months - I went back to live with my parents to get myself right again. I hated the regional commercial radio stations and so made the switch to Triple J on my 30 minute drive to work. I'd listen to the breakfast show, loving the variety of music, and one day heard Nowhere Without You by Bob Evans. It was catchy, jingly-jangly, singer-songwritery, and made me drum on the steering wheel. Then I heard Bob Evans was the lead singer of Jebediah - that band I was a bit scared of in my teens. I came to love Jebediah because of Bob Evans (I told Kevin that I was too busy listening to Savage Garden back in the day to become a fan of Jebediah). I've been a big fan of KevBob since 2006 - going to a show on every tour he's done since 2006 (except that small show he did when I was flying from London to Los Angeles last year). Two of my favourite moments at his shows have been when he asked me to hold his lyrics on stage at The Tote, and winning a competition to see him at a tiny show at Spotify HQ in Sydney. We chat on Twitter – it’s great that social media enables this. The line "I just can't make it on my own" resonates with me because it signifies me asking my parents for help again.

Silverchair – Miss You Love

Neon Ballroom was the album that got me into Silverchair. I was finally liking a band that was considered cool! I surprisingly enjoy the dark lyrics, and think the theatrical music is very uplifting. Miss You Love is my favourite song on the album, with Emotion Sickness coming a close second. I once wrote a very long blog post analysing Miss You Love. I listened to Neon Ballroom all through year 12. I spent a lot of time in the library “studying” – actually writing poems about boys I’d fallen in love with on the internet. My poetry was inspired by Silverchair and also Douglas Stewart, the Australian bush poet I had studied in year 11. A strange combination! Miss You Love is such an honest song, looking at the struggles Daniel had coping with fame as a young adult. That line “I love the way you love, but I hate the way I’m supposed to love you back” gets me every time.

I've got so many more songs that have influenced me and hope to play some more on radio one day in the future!

What are your most influential songs?



  1. Gosh, I have no idea! At the moment I am driving listening to Sufjan Stevens, and with the sun streaming in through the car window, I feel pretty inspired. Not sure if that counts! Visiting for Rewind.

    1. Ahhh, Sufjan is a pretty influential experience, with every listen!

  2. That's so exciting Carly. I don't know if I would be able to narrow down songs to a handful. So many have had such a profound impact on me at different times of my life and each day different ones come to mind. I do love to the moon and back though, but my favourite savage garden song is probably 'Crash and Burn.' x

  3. Hey carly, is it me or have you recently changed to a partial feed? It sucks, pls change it back!

    1. Hi Miranda thanks for letting me know :)
      I did change to a partial feed but I don't really know the impact that has for readers. My blog got plagiarised - the whole blog was copied and posted on another blog, and it was recommended that I change to a short feed. I have changed it back now. In the mean time, I have been emailing Google and blogger but no response. Fortunately the ad company who the blog was making money from removed their ads.
      Thank you for your feedback :)

    2. Thanks Carly, yeah it was showing up in my reader cut off, which is basically impossible to read (no formatting and only about 300 characters of the post, no images etc). Bummer about your blog getting plagiarised. Happened to my friend once who left a message for the people responsible that they would get sued for intellectual copyright if they did not remove and it suddenly disappeared.

  4. Lots of inspirational songs, but probably few influential. Silverchair were a big inspiration for me, back in the day when they played the Uni circuit and couldn't go to the bar. If I had to choose one artist, though, it would be Johnny Cash. x


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