Retrospectives S1W08 – The Beginning And The End Of Everything

Welcome to the Season Finale of Retrospectives! It has been a rather interesting experience writing this on my part, as I have gotten to look back over the last few years and see just how much of an impact music has had on my life. Each of the albums I have talked about over the last eight weeks still rank among some of my favorites, and this week we fittingly wrap up with a look at Josh Pyke’s The Beginning And The End Of Everything.

In late 2013, everything in my life was focused on what the hell I was going to do next. The HSC was now in full swing and while I had gotten offers for all of my courses at the University of Wollongong, I still did not know whether I was going to go through with them. Being a fan of Josh Pyke for a year now, when I heard he had released a new album it quickly became my go to album to listen to in the car when coming home from school or even any HSC exam. I was drawn to the power of the lead single, Leeward Side, which kind of related to my desire to become the person I want to be after school as well as the fact that it is a really good song.

About halfway through my HSC exams, I had become addicted to this album, quickly learning every lyric and not shutting up about it to anyone who would listen.My studies (not that I was focusing much on them anyway, I was and still am one hell of a procrastinator) went out the window. While that might seem bad from a outsiders input it was the right decision for me personally. I had finally realized that I would be ok no matter the outcome of the HSC and this thought-line mixed with my own disillusionment towards school as a whole led to me being surprisingly relaxed during my final exams compared to others who were obsessing and worrying over every little detail.

When worried, I would merely slip back into the world of this album and see my worries fade away. It worked more than I ever believed it would and I am almost certain that without that album in my life at that time, my HSC results and my current path in life would be very different than to what they are now.

But what secured this album as an important one was what it did for me at the end of my HSC. Biology was my final exam and I was naturally a little worried for it. But once the exam was over, my life in school and the first significant chapter of my life would be over and I could start planning for what would come next. The exam itself was something I can barely remember now, I think I ended up getting a mid 70’s mark for the subject, but it was leaving the exam, getting in my car and driving away from school for the last time.

The first song that came on as I drove away was Leeward Side. What then happened was a weird feeling of relief and release from the thing that had held me for the last thirteen years. I felt like Jesse at the end of Breaking Bad, almost crazily laughing with relief that I was finally done. It is a memory that has stuck with me ever since and as much as it is weird to talk about it it is one that I love to no end and it has solidified Leeward Side and the album as one of my all time favorites.

After that day, my life became a lot clearer. I accepted and offer to go to Wollongong and study Law and Journalism and I was ready for the next big thing to happen in my life. But no matter what would happen next, I was sure that music would continue to play a big part in it.

Thankyou to you all who have stuck with this and read the last eight weeks of this. It was an interesting experience and one I am not entirely sure if I could do again. But I have enjoyed talking about these albums and what they personally mean to me.

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