Welcome back to Retrospectives! This week we are looking at Boy & Bear’s Harlequin Dream, an album I have a lot of fondness for due to its time of release.
We jump forward another seven months to September of 2013. School has finished. We have said our goodbyes to the place where we essentially grew up for most of our lives. We still had the actual HSC on the horizon but we were so damned close to the end. I had recently come back from a month overseas at one of the most important times in my education and I was on the backfoot.
It was a time where many things were up in the air. Having decided not to go on a gap year I still needed to figure out just where the hell I was going to be in 2014, and what I was going to do with my life once the time runs out of that final Biology exam in a couple of months time. But I managed to put most of it on hold once Harlequin Dream was released, as it was one of my most hyped albums of the year and having finally managed to grab a copy a month later than its original release, I was listening to it on repeat for days on end.
It was the album that accompanied my father and I as we traveled to the two locations I was looking at for University in 2014: The University of Canberra and The University of Wollongong, both places that had a Journalism degree, which was what I wanted to pursue over the rather stock standard and boring Arts degrees.
We first went to Canberra, with this album playing for long stretches of the trip, cementing it in my head as a fantastic road trip album. Canberra was nice to see and learn about the degree (I was planning on doing a Sports Media degree) but there was something that just felt off about it and it took a backpage as we went and looked at Wollongong a couple of weeks later.
Due to the Early Entry requirements, I had to go down to the university for an interview as to why I would be a good fit for the degree at hand (Journalism/Law among others) and I remember the trip well. My father was from the Campbelltown area and as we drove through Sydney we talked about him growing up there as well as what he thought of Wollongong, having gone down there several times in his youth to play competitive football.
Once we finally started to descend down and Wollongong opened up more and more I remember being taken a little aback at just how great this place looked. Having lived near Bathurst my whole life this was a breath of fresh air and I wanted to take it in. All of this of course was soundtracked by Boy & Bear’s Three Headed Woman and it is a unique memory I still like to go back to despite often making the same drive now.
Thankfully the interview went by quickly and I thought it went well at the time – the interviewer seemed to like my interest in Maritime and Sports Law plus the fact that I did predominately writing based subjects – and while I did not know it at the time, I had secured my spot in my degree and ultimately the biggest change in my life to date.
Harlequin Dream as an album is one I love, it is probably my favorite of the band’s three. But I will always have those special memories attached to it as well as the one of Real Estate being my driving into school song during those last days of classes. Boy & Bear was the penultimate album of my education, and was at the time my standout album of the year; I even was mentioned on Triple J because of it, but it is one of those magical pieces in time that I like to reminisce on, and every time I have listened to it since, I get a distinct feeling of relief knowing the end is coming.
Join us next week for the Season Finale of Retrospectives, where we wrap up with Josh Pyke’s The Beginning And The End Of Everything.