I like so many different types of music ranging from irish folk to electronic to prog to punk that it becomes so hard to narrow down a select group of influences that make their way into the music that I like to write. But here are 10 songs that I would say have definitely played a part in the influence of a chorus,a riff, or just straight up vibe that I was trying to go for:
Alvvays – Ones Who Love You
I absolutely love all of the songs that this band has put out over the past few years. The sounds of the guitars, vocals, synths, basses etc. They have a sound that always feels like it’s floating in a fountain of reverb and delay, it’s beautiful. This song is from the first record and I’ve always liked the particularly lo-fi quality it embodies. Even just the sound and melodic vibes of the guitar playing alone is something I draw influence from. Also the KEXP version of this song from way back has always held a special place in my heart.
Snail Mail – Heat Wave
Since we’re talking about Alvvays and guitar here I feel I need to add Snail Mail into this category also! Heat wave has this cool kind of open tuning to it and the way that Lindsey plays this riff inspired me alot to adapt something similar. Especially on the new album, there are a couple songs in there where I am definitely playing into that sound. I’d say that indie guitar pop of the female lead singer variety is definitely prominent throughout a lot of the music I like.
Kurt Vile – On Tour
It is particularly hard to pick a kurt vile song that has not influenced me in some way. There are just too many freakin awesome songs of his to choose from but On Tour is one that stuck out in a neat way after seeing it done live at a show in Toronto. It just had this really cool ambience along with a steady beat behind it. I think I’m particularly inspired by the full sounding acoustic chords he plays, sometimes a little choppy and heavy but that’s what I like. There’s tons of Kurt Vile influence in alot of my music for sure.
Daniel Romano – There Are Lines In My Face
I can’t even begin to describe how influential and amazing his songs are. All of his albums are so prolific and creative. I am definitely inspired in more than one way when it comes to Daniel Romano. I would have to say though that There Are Lines In My Face has been in my mind since I first started listening to his music and I think it has definitely shaped some of the heavier country riffs that I play from time to time. I think he was one of the artists that inspired me to start really trying to write seriously in the beginning.
Neil Young – Harvest
When it comes to some of the more acoustic tendencies that come through these songs Neil Young has always been in the forefront as an influence. Even though there are probably at least 5 songs I would say are my favourite Neil songs I think Harvest is one that I have loved for years and years. I love playing it and his style of playing and songwriting is definitely prominent in the stuff I’ve put out.
TOPS – Hours Between
The beautiful synth and chorus textures of TOPS have been on my constant playlist for at least 5 years now I wanna say. Too many beautiful songs to pick but I particularly like the melancholy sound of Hours Between. The guitar has this really nice chorus sound to it with a bit of an echo and it leads the track really nicely. I found myself gravitating to a similar sound when playing a few live shows. The TOPS guitar sound has made its way into some of my own recorded music as well.
Jen Cloher – Kamikaze Origami
A friend of mine turned me on to Jen Cloher a few years back and I haven’t really stopped listening to her music! Fantastic voice, amazing guitar player, killer band to back her up, I love all of her songs and have in some way adapted a bit of her guitar energy to my own playing. Nice builds, powerful chords that ring out, all that good grungy, garage rock you could ask for! This song might be the first I really loved of hers.
Chastity Belt – Joke
One last band to add to the Alvvays/snail mail/Jen Cloher/ garage rock genre would definitely have to be Chastity Belt. All the women in this band are super talented and they all switch instruments live which is cool and fun to watch haha. They have a lot of dueling guitar melodies that always sit nicely with each other and that style has come into play with my own stuff more recently. Joke is a good example of those two guitar parts telling a story together. A fantastic tune that has been on my playlist for about 5 years..
Pavement – Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse)
The first song I heard from pavement actually that really stuck with me and still does to this day! I feel like there is a lot of pavement influence in the way I play not just because of the guitar style but because of the genre itself. Also since there is a prominent 90s feel to a lot of my songs I think Pavement always ends up just being a good fit. Shoot the singer has some cool little guitar licks and a cool build that I think I’ve taken on for myself. I often picture myself playing in that band while I’m just jamming alone with my own guitar haha.
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
This might be an obvious one to most but I have to include Pink Floyd as an influence. The vocal lines from David Gilmour paired with the heavy lead solos..just perfection. There’s definitely some classic rock layered in a lot of the stuff I do and this new record is no exception of that. Even the organ and synth have found their way into this music and Pink Floyd have always used those instruments extremely well. I don’t go too prog heavy with this new record but when I do it sounds like Pink Floyd.