It's a line everyone has heard from an older relative at least once. "Music was better back then."
I distinctly remember my granddad looking me straight in the eye when he said it. I could tell he was wondering how it was that his then-teenaged granddaughter wanted to listen to this noise hooligans called "music".
Meanwhile, I was wondering how it was that he couldn't hear what I heard. How could he not like my music?
A discussion in a similar vein cropped up in the office recently, when a 30-something colleague was told he was too old to listen to triple j. Of course, a line such as that caused debate around the conference table, but when it comes to discovering and enjoying new music, is there really an age limit?
A survey by Deezer says yes.
After surveying 5000 people from Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Brazil, the French streaming service found that right around your 28th birthday you're hit with what is deemed "musical paralysis", with two-thirds of people (65 per cent) only listening to tracks they already knew.
Of the 1000 Americans surveyed, 24 per cent blamed demanding jobs for their inability to discover new music, while 15 per cent said it was because of their children.
In Britain, nearly half of the 1000 people surveyed (47 per cent) revealed they wished they could spend more time discovering new music, while the peak age for actually doing this was 24 years and five months. At this age, 75 per cent of respondents listened to 10 or more tracks per week, and 64 per cent sought out at least five new artists per month.
So what is it about the music of our youth that keeps us coming back for more, even when we say are open to new beats?
A lot of it could come down to what is known as the "reminiscence bump", something studied by memory researchers since the 1980s.
Carving out time to seek out the hundreds of new sounds released every day can be impossible for some.Zan Rowe
When it comes to autobiographical memory, the brain remembers different periods in your life to different extents. For example, between the time you are born and about the age of five, you are in what is considered to be childhood amnesia and therefore don't remember much, if anything. By the age of 10, you have begun the period known as the reminiscence bump, which will last until the age of 30, peaking in your 20s. The moments from this time period will be remembered more frequently than any other period in your life.
At first, it was thought to be because it was simply the years when you experience your firsts - first love, first job, first concert. Everything is novel and the brain tends to hold on to these sorts moments, rather than the mundane ones.
However, as time and studies have progressed, it's become clear it's more than just the novelty that has the brain holding on. Interwoven into this time period is the discovery of one's self. Effectively these memories - both good and bad - will become touchstones throughout life, encapsulating moments by which we will go on to define ourselves.
For many people, the music discovered during this time period becomes the soundtrack to their self-discovery.
Brain imaging shows that when our favourite songs are played, it stimulates the brain to release neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, which makes us feel good. The rate at which these neurochemicals are released is directly linked to how much we like a song.
What's more, a University of Leeds study found that between the ages of 12 and 22, our brains are going through rapid development and as a result, the music we love during this period tends to get wired into the brain in the process. These songs end up having strong memory traces and often result in heightened emotion when they are replayed. Something good had to come from puberty hormones and this is it.
These are the same hormones that tell us during our teenage years that certain things were important when through the eyes of maturity they weren't - such as that time you completely humiliated yourself in gym class and swore you would die from embarrassment. Keeping this in mind, you can imagine the importance placed on the music of this time, and now every time you relisten to those tracks, the memory traces take you back to that moment.
While this puts into perspective why we have a connection to the music we discover in our younger years, it doesn't explain why we stop seeking out new music.
"Some people find their faves and stick to them; if it feels good, do it," Double J presenter Zan Rowe says.
"There have been scientific studies that prove that the music we listened to when we were teenagers really did feel like the best music of our lives. It will always provide a strong neural and emotional pathway for us, well into middle age. And as humans, sometimes consistency is comforting. But not for all of us."
As someone who is around music - both new and old - all day, Rowe is firmly in the never-too-old-for-new-music camp. She points out the sheer volume of new releases every day means there is something for everyone. Whether one has the time to consume it all is another question.
"Think about when you were a teenager. Holidays from school or uni that went for literally months. Little to no responsibility, no dependants, and a world of time every waking day," she says.
"Fast forward to adulthood where days at work extend beyond 10 hours on the regular, home time is filled with a lot more than flopping on the couch listening to records, and there are a lot more people in your life vying for attention. Carving out time to seek out the hundreds of new sounds released every day can be impossible for some. In short, adults have a lot of shit going on. It doesn't mean they love music any less."
For triple j fans, this is where Double J comes in. The digital radio station was created for those who had grown out of triple j but still loved music and "being connected to the cultural conversations of the day".
It plays about 70 per cent new music and 30 per cent classics, compared with triple j's 90 per cent new music. Triple j also tends to skew younger as it commits to supporting emerging artists.
"Similarly, on Double J you'll hear plenty of musos in their early 20s, but likely making songs that appeal to our demographic," Rowe says. So by switching to Double J listeners won't stop listening to new music, but will be given the chance to listen to more classics.
This is a similar approach taken by the organisers of Stonefest.
For more than 40 years, the University of Canberra music festival was a rite of passage for many Canberrans, right up until the last one in 2011. The university announced earlier this year that it would be returning on October 19 and it now has the task of engaging with those who lived out their reminiscence bump during the original reincarnation and those who are discovering it for the first time.
"We gently want to pay homage to its history, but at the same time give it legs to be its own thing as well," University of Canberra music manager Kelsey Bagust says.
"It's an interesting event to be a part of in that way, to have 40-plus years of history but also wanting to make something that is really contemporary that is appealing to a young audience. I think there are so few events that you have the opportunity to have a play with all of those different elements."
Some of the university's other music events, delivered through their UC Live programming, continue to walk this line between demographics, with throwback Aussie rock bands such as Spiderbait, Jet and Grinspoon all featuring in the line-up.
As for who exactly attends these throwback concerts, Bagust says it's a mixed bag. The same can be said of the audience attending more contemporary artists.
"In some ways, it can depend on the genre and the artist's particular appeal to certain demographics, but I think for the most part people in Canberra just like going out and seeing live music and having a nice time with their friends," she says.
"I just think compared to other cities, Canberrans are really, really supportive of pretty much anything that is going on. Whereas I think in Melbourne or Sydney it can be a bit overwhelming having so much on. It kind of becomes a bit of activity fatigue [elsewhere]."
It's a sentiment fellow Canberra music festival Spilt Milk agrees with.
While anecdotally people may say they are "too old" for music festivals, festival director Ryan Sabet says this isn't the case for Spilt Milk.
"How one experiences art, live music and good food doesn't have an age limit, and we can't imagine a time where it would be the case," he says.
"With Spilt Milk, we are fortunate to have a wide age range of attendees visit the festival. Individual taste is a strong driver for who is attracted to the festival in any particular year."
When the planning phase began for their November 23 festival, Sabet says it started, as always, with what they were excited about.
And perhaps that's exactly what it comes down to when talking about the music we encounter every day. Whether it's from a streaming service, the radio or a concert, at the heart of it, we're listening to these songs because we choose to.
While studies may show that on a neurological level we will never connect with music the way we did in our youth, no matter how old we get you will still get a dopamine hit when you hear a song you like - new or old.
And the nostalgia that comes from the bands of your youth - whether The Beatles, The B-52's or Blink-182 - it's more than just memories for your heyday. At its core, those songs are part of why you are who you are. There's just no reason why they should be the only songs that you listen to.