Lights Out Words Gone
Bombay Bicycle Club
I love this song but I don't know anything else about this band. I've never listened to any of their other songs. I came across it when I was very heartbroken. I'd just gone through a break-up of a really long-term relationship and would listen to it a lot while I was running. I really liked it because it sounds sad when it starts but then it manages to be uplifting and hopeful.
It resonated because it tended to my sadness while also encouraging me with its uplifting guitars. I love the guitars. They drove me wild. It was a perfect song for me at that time. It pulled me out of my sadness, like, "Yes you're sad, but pull yourself together. We can still have a nice time here."
It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday
Boyz II Men
This song was number one when my koro died. I was 9, I think, and that song was always around. I remember my nan really liked it at that time as well. I still can't listen to it without being taken back to that time and feeling the sadness of losing my koro.
It served my grief at that time. Especially at an age where I was trying to process and make sense of it. This song helped me to do that.
It's such a beautiful song that really captures the feeling of cautiously falling for someone. It reminds me of when I was falling in love with my current partner. It was a highly emotional time because it was around the same time that I'd come out of that long-term relationship.
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I had a lot of time on my hands and a real motivation to dive into music as something to keep my mind busy and keep moving forward. I was listening to a lot of music and writing a lot of music. My partner's a music person as well and he lent me a drum machine. I made some great songs with that drum machine.
Undone - The Sweater Song
It's a classic, but for me it's a defining moment. I first saw it on music television. I'd never heard of Weezer and I didn't know anyone who was listening to them but I just loved it. It was the first time I'd experienced that. I think I was 12.
It really hit at an age where music suddenly feels like your identity. I was like, "yes, I love this, I get it". It was funny, irreverent and cool. I loved it and felt like I'd found something on my own that spoke to me and that I really identified with, without anyone else pointing me to it. It [the Blue Album] was my first CD.
The Only One
Billy Bragg is the artist who most changed my songwriting style. When I got into his stuff I really dived right in. I loved his colloquial delivery and his colloquial domestic lyrics.
The funny thing about Billy Bragg is when I was in my first band, Handsome Geoffrey, we played a gig at the Hillcrest Tavern in Hamilton when I was 18 or 19. This young kid dragged me into the men's toilets. I had no idea who he was and he gave me a cassette tape. He was like, "Your music's great but you've got to listen to this." It was Billy Bragg.
Later I put it on and was like, "What is this? Eww. I don't like it."
I wasn't into it. And then, sure enough, a couple of years later I got into it big-time and really discovered the joys of Billy Bragg and his amazing songwriting. I don't listen to Boyz II Men so much anymore but I still will listen to Billy Bragg.
*As told to Karl Puschmann. Anna Coddington launches her new album Beams with an Auckland Arts Festival show at The Civic Club on Friday, March 19.