Love Letter To A Record: Isotopes’ Ange Morris On Short Stack’s ‘Stack Is The New Black’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Ange Morris, Isotopes – Short Stack, Stack Is The New Black (2008)

Dear Stack Is The New Black,

You were the album that catapulted me into alternative music and especially the local band scene in 2008 when I was a wee 11-year-old, enjoying the tail end of primary school. Before then, I scrolled through my brother’s iPod Classic and listened to whatever was on there – Foo Fighters, Ok Go, Daft Punk, international artists that just seemed so alien to me.

But Stack Is The New Black was something else; it was teen angst and catchy choruses created by a couple of guys from a small town in NSW. Suddenly, the idea of being in a band and making music seemed like it could become a reality. I found you on YouTube in its earlier, much simpler times, along with Short Stack TV, which created this personal connection with the band – that these were also some teenagers working at a pizza shop and throwing garlic bread at each other on-shift, but still creating these awesome songs. Maybe that could be me too.

When the video for ‘Sway Sway Baby’ was released, seeing the hair, the makeup, the style, and the parody of Home and Away, I couldn’t stop watching it. The wacky lyrics saying ‘sway sway baby, you’re so audio, kill your boyfriend, we could be together’ was the catalyst that threw me into learning guitar and writing some angsty songs myself. I remember every word to ‘Princess’, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ and ‘Shimmy a Go Go’. Then I found more and more local Australian bands in the heavy scene, and that’s basically all I’ve listened to since.

I’ve listened to every song on Stack is the New Black countless times, and even though my taste has branched out a lot since 2008, I can still come back to this album and remember where I was and who I was when I was listening to it.

Now, after 13 years, I’m in a band myself, playing and making music I love, and spending hours with some of the most talented people I know — it became a reality after all.

To Stack is the New Black, thank you for opening up a whole new world to me and inspiring me to do what I want to with my life, and helping me find people who feel the same way as me.

Much love forever,
Ange

Isotopes are a Sydney post-hardcore group who’ve just released their absolutely ripping new single ‘Die Alone’ – produced by Stevie Knight (Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly) and mixed by James Paul Wisner (Paramore, Underoath).

It’s an emotionally-charged melodic metalcore confessional that bares its soul with a nu-metal twist, which frontman Justin Miller describes as being about constantly “wandering into the deepest and darkest parts of your mind”.

“For myself personally through a never-ending fear of self-doubt due to past events that has left me questioning if I’ll forever be alone in this,” he explains.

Accompanying the release is the graphic music video – filmed, directed and edited by Colin Jeffs (Yours Truly, To Octavia, Diamond Construct) — which you can check out below!

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