#989: ‘Semaphore’ – Jakob

There are some moments in your life in which you’re able to isolate as the moment that things changed for you. In my case, I tend to view my life in terms of when I discovered music. I’m aware there are plenty of other things to use, but hey, I am who I am.

In this story, the time in particular will be the night of September 5th, 2009. I was in my final months of high school, I was just under three weeks away from meeting a girl who I would date for four years, and I was just about to change my musical taste forever. See, as many Australians would be aware, music on a weekend is almost completely dominated by the ABC‘s rage program. In the 30 years since its been on TV, rage has proven itself to become an institution of Australian music, providing people with the soundtrack to their weekends, and providing a platform for lesser known acts to finally be seen by the larger audiences of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

On this particular night, a Saturday, the guest hosts of the evening were the case of the TV quiz show Spicks & Specks. A music quiz show much like Never Mind The Buzzcocks, I had watched Spicks & Specks for years and knew that the songs chosen by this evenings guest hosts were going to be brilliant. What I didn’t know was that the choices would be so amazing that I would actually discover so many different artists that my musical taste went in a completely different direction. While I had been aware of many underground and indie rock bands in the past, my eyes were opened to a far broader range of artists than I had ever thought of before on this evening, and my taste was changed so much, that a good number of songs I saw on that evening are featured on this list.

‘Sempahore’, by Jakob, is just one of those songs. Played around 2:40am on Sunday morning, ‘Semaphore’ was sandwiched in between The National’s ‘Mistaken For Strangers‘, and Mogwai’s ‘Stanley Kubrick‘. It started off as a somewhat unassuming post-rock track, but captured my imagination in a way I hadn’t quite felt before. I’d mainly listened to post-rock groups such as Sigur Rós, Do Make Say Think, Explosions In The Sky, and the aforementioned Mogwai prior to this, so I was unaware there was room in the genre for groups to truly be heavy.

While not quite as heavy as bands such as Pelican, or Russian Circles, Jakob had that heavy-metal brutality, with the deftness and tenderness of the true post-rock group. Of course, I’ve since gone on to enjoy more of Jakob’s work, the group have never truly grabbed me as severely as they did with this track; a moment I’ll remember always.

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