Music has been a massive part of my life ever since I first picked up an instrument. In the fifteen years since it has come to define my experience. Music is so well connected to memory, and I am always transported by harmony, timbre, and melody. I write this because last night I went to see Two Hours Traffic, my favourite Canadian band, here in Ottawa. The band is having its farewell tour and I was lucky to go check them out for their last tour. I have seen them now eight times and this will be the finale.
Everyone who knew me up until I finished my undergrad knew me as the ultimate Oasis fan. It was all I listened to, all I talked about, and what I wanted to be. The transitions I went through up until that point had been defined by the songs and albums of Oasis - they synched up with life. That collapsed in 2009 when Oasis unexpectedly broke up. It felt, in many ways, like the end of being a teenager. I had to move on. Thankfully, in my fourth year of university I was listening to CBC when I heard "Sure Can Start" and I was hooked on a new band from PEI called Two Hours Traffic. I got their debut album for Christmas and it stayed in my car for over a month. Like Oasis had done for so many years, Two Hours Traffic played the backing tracks of my life over the next six years. The breakup of the band now feels like the end of my adolescence.
From 2007 to now my life has been turned around so many times it's hard to piece it all together. However, every new adventure seemed to be accompanied by the band. The debut album got me through breaking up with my first partner. When I went to teachers college their album Territory dropped the first week. Going to grad school, starting my teaching career, and now moving back to Southwestern Ontario have all taken place with this music as a backdrop. It seems fitting that a tumultuous period of intense change is hopefully ending.
Moreover, Two Hours Traffic taught me how to sing harmony more solidly and helped change the way I looked at writing melodies. Two Hours Traffic is connected to my growth as a musician. The music is also a part of many of my closest interpersonal relationships: my former bandmate David, my sister overseas, my partner, and Jenn, my very close friend from university. As mentioned before this marks the end of an era for me.
It's sad on the one hand to move on, but it's an acknowledgment that I'm onto somewhere new and exciting, which is very positive. This morning I found my old Two Hours Traffic albums hidden away, covered with signatures and brief messages from the band. I'm looking forward to finding out what my next favourite band will be, the one that defines the next stages of my life.