Playlist: Fatherson Share Their Influences

Fatherson

Fatherson recently released Sum Of All Your Parts and they took some time to share their influences with us. They wrote a bit about each selection and you can listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Sigur Ros – Heysatan

That Takk album by Sigur Ros is hands down one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. I go back to this song religiously, I guess it’s because I have no idea what he’s saying so I make it up for myself.

Death Cab For Cutie – Brothers on a Hotel Bed

Our collective favourite song of all time. Possibly even our collective favourite band. Lyrically Ben Gibbard always puts the most eloquent twist on heartbreaking situations. This song is about losing love over a long period of time, which is something that I guess most people are afraid of.

Manchester Orchestra – Everything to Nothing

Loud, heavy, heartbreaking and honest is pretty much how I’d describe everything that Manchester Orchestra do. We’ve been inspired by them since hearing wolves at night on MySpace. I would maybe say this was my favourite song of theirs. The way they throw about the 1 at the end yet make it super approachable is just cool and it was amazing to discover that other bands did that too.

Phoenix – Lasso

The intro to this song is so cool, if you watch on YouTube the dude is playing two parts at once. They are also so amazing live, proper gentlemen of the stage with super groovy tunes. Plus the drummer looks like he’s going so fast he might take off at some point 10/10 would recommend to a friend.

The 1975 – The Sound

This band definitely inspired a bit of confidence in us when we were writing this new album. They just say and do what they want and their artwork and statement is always so cool. Very big fans of their live show too, they are definitely the most innovative band to come out of the UK in the last decade in my opinion.

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

Definitely the most inspiring artist/song/library of musical masterpieces on this list for me, for sure. This song blew me away when if first heard it, not only is there a Paolo Nutini sample in it but there’s also an incredibly beautiful song underneath the melee of production.

Noname – All I Need

I had Telefone on repeat for about a year, Noname writes poetry. I was so engaged from the get go, one night whilst trawling through tiny desk sessions, her one appeared and that was it. This song is my favourite on that album but if you haven’t heard it yet do yourself a favor and get lost in it for a few days!

Paramore – Last Hope

Saw them in Wembley Arena in London in front of about 20,000 people and they made it feel like a club show! This song is the epitome of a modern rock ballad with an amazing melody and her incredible voice on top of it!

Radiohead – No Surprises

The kings of tone and song structure really. You can’t help but be in awe of them, they’ve been moving the goalposts forever and always better themselves. I listened to Ok Computer a lot over the last couple of years alongside the bends. This song though has the most amazing sounding guitar melody I think I’ve ever heard.

Idlewild – Little Discourage

We toured with Idlewild on their 10 year anniversary of 100 Broken Windows after being massive fans since we were kids. It’s such a raw and messy album but it has so much energy in it. Little Discourage made the place go off every night and it was so inspiring to watch it have the same visceral potency 10 years after it came out. It just shows you that great songs last the test of time.

Snow Patrol – How to be Dead

The opening song to one of the best albums of all time. And that just has to be a fact, it’s a super cool sounding album from some guys from Northern Ireland. I was about 11 when it came out and bought it at Asda and went straight to Greg’s to listen to it, which we’ve done with every album they’ve released since. Incredible band and this song is so cool.

Playlist: Sam Hale Shares Artists He Loves

Sam Hale
Photo credit: Jenna Doolittle

Sam Hale is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who had been hard at work on some new music. He’ll be releasing Somewhere Between Love & War on October 12th. Sam kindly put together a playlist of some of the artists he loves and wrote a little about each selection. Check it out!

David Ramirez – “Watching from a Distance”
David Ramirez is electrifying. I heard this album and it inspired me to reach out to his producer, Sam Kassirer. That is how Somewhere Between Love & War was born.

Wye Oak – “Before”
Wye Oak is an interesting discovery I made last year. They are two multi-instrumentalists that create a rich and colorful blend of sounds accompanied by thoughtful and honest lyrics. You’ll have to check them out!

Cigarettes After Sex – “K.”
Cigarettes After Sex put out a pretty awesome album, especially the song “K”. Their music has a dreamy undertone with seductive vocals that don’t sway too much from the pocket, leaving you in a state of infinite trance.

Kevin Morby – “Harlem River”
Kevin Morby’s repetitive guitar lick in “Harlem River” influenced me a bit when creating “Supernatural”. The song starts off giving you a Gotye feel, but once the song picks up it becomes super spacey and psychedelic. I appreciate a long song when it’s done correctly. They achieved it in this one.

Chromatics – “Into The Black”
I love the Chromatics recreation of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey, Hey”. It’s almost as if her voice was made for this song. This song opened me up to hear their whole catalogue.

The War on Drugs – “Pain”
It took me a while to actually start listening to The War on Drugs. I had heard of them and friends told me to check them out. It’s no mystery they are an amazing band, but they have definitely influenced me. The song “Pain” is one of my favorites.

Nick Hakim – “Green Twins”
Nick Hakim put out a super soulful album called Green Twins. The title track “Green Twins” is one of my favorites. The song has a subtle distorted effect that makes it feel like an old vinyl. His performance is amazing and I love the production on this number.

The Cinematic Orchestra – “To Build A Home”
I heard the song “To Build A Home” a while back on the independent station KCRW in Los Angeles while driving home from a friend’s house. I instantly fell in love. It’s such a beautifully played song that gives you chills right when the singer hits the falsetto vocals in the chorus.

Slowdive – “Start Roving”
The band Slowdive has been around for a while, but they recently put out an album called Slowdive after 21 years of not releasing any music. All the songs on the album are amazing, but the one that stood out to me is called “Star Roving”. It has this industrial, 80’s pop quality to it that I just love.

Playlist: The Demos Share Artists You Should Listen To

The Demos have a new EP out today. If Only You Knew blends synths and guitars for a heavy dose of power pop. Today, they’re also sharing a playlist of artists that they think everyone should be listening to.

Everyone in the band has a pretty eclectic taste, but one thing we love doing (especially on the road) is making up playlists of songs we’ve been digging at the moment. This playlist is exactly like one we’d make in the van. Its full of songs we can’t get out of our heads, the latest from some of our good friends, and songs that have significant meaning to us right now.

Twin Peaks – “Tossing Tears”

I (Jay) have been a huge fan of Twin Peaks for the past few years. They are an amazing rock band that I feel like could have existed in almost any decade. Their songs are instantly catchy and I find myself humming the “na nas” at the end of this song WAY to often. Every hook in this one is etched in my brain!

Jukebox The Ghost – “Fred Astaire”

We met the guys in Jukebox The Ghost way back in 2010 and instantly hit it off. We even did a short tour with them in 2012. This is one our favorite tracks on their latest release. We find ourselves turning this one up in the van as we drive through crowded parking lots. We are excited to be playing a few more dates with Jukebox The Ghost in September so we can finally sing along in person with Ben’s ridiculously good voice.

Maybird – “Keep In Line”

Maybird is our man-crush-Monday forever. We’ve been HUGE fans of Josh Netsky’s songwriting since we all met at the tender age of 17. This song, produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, features AMAZING guitar hooks by Kurt Johnson and Overhand Sam Snyder that will get stuck in your head for days and you will find yourselves singing along.

Alexandra Savior – “Shades”

Caela was the first to discover Alexandra Savior and her record Belladonna of Sadness quickly found itself on heavy rotation on our turntable. It’s got such an awesome noir vibe with modern production. You can really hear Alex Turner’s influence. It’s a great late night jam. Really good to throw on in your car driving home at 3am or smoking a cigarette outside in the rain. In an altered state it may inspire one’s life to spin off into another reality, reminiscent of a Quinton Tarantino film.

The Cribs – “Lights Went Out”

The Cribs have always been one of our favorites. We recently revisited their self-titled record (on which this song appears) and instantly fell back in love with it. Nothing like feeling like its 2004 again! Good times.

Joywave – “Blastoffff”

Dan, the frontman of Joywave, produced our latest EP If You Only Knew and we recently went on tour with them this summer. They dropped this single right before we left for tour and it was a staple of their live set on the run. Only a few dates into the tour I (Jay) asked Dan, “Could you stop writing songs as catchy as “Blastoffff? Because I’m sick of hearing people whistle it in the van for 8 hours straight.” He responded plainly, “No.”

Michael Jackson – “The Way You Make Me Feel”

Brian Malouf mixed our new EP and he was also a recording engineer on Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” Learning this had us throwing on songs by Michael left and right. There’s a reason he’s the king of pop. Just TRY not to dance. I dare you. “The Way You Make Me Feel” has always been one of our favorites of his. SIDE NOTE: While on tour in Des Moines I managed to find an actual Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker arcade game in a “barcade” next to the venue. Moonwalker was my FAVORITE game to play at Chuck E Cheese as a child and I have not seen a functioning version of the game since. Perhaps too much time and money was spent.

ELO – “Secret Messages”

On one of our long drives on the last tour we were searching for something interesting to listen to and this track popped up in someone’s “New Release Radar” on Spotify. So, naturally, we thought it was a BRAND NEW ELO track that just came out. A few minutes into the track we were blown away. It sounded like it could have easily have been made today or 30 years ago. That’s when Cal yelled from the back of the van, “this actually came out in 1983!” Turns out the record was being reissued available for the first time as originally conceived by Jeff Lynn as a double album. Really speaks to the timelessness of Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra. We listened to a LOT of ELO that day.

Hawker M. James – “Falling Out”

Mike James is one of the most prolific songwriters we know and every single track is amazing. This latest single is extra special to us as Jay had the pleasure of directing, shooting and editing a video for it on the desolate streets of our hometown, Rochester, New York. You know a song is good when you can spend HOURS editing a video to it and still find yourself humming it as you walk around!

Bob Dylan – “Highway 61 Revisited”

While we were on tour this summer, on the day of the blood moon total lunar eclipse we found ourselves driving on Highway 61, the Avenue of the Saints. The song came on in the van and we all freaked out. Afterwards we got out, and took pictures next to the road sign. What a special moment for us.

Playlist: Dakota Mill Shares His Influences

Dakota Mill

Dakota Mill released a new EP, Ages, on July 2. The EP consists of five songs and I highly recommend checking it out. If folk rock and indie rock are up your alley, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t listen to this. The singer-songwriter wanted to share his influences with us and put together a fun playlist. Be sure to give it a listen.

Playlist: Rome Hero Foxes Share Influential Songs

Rome Hero Foxes
Photo credit: Natasha Bermudez

Rome Hero Foxes put together a list of songs that have influenced them over the years. Check out the playlist and what they have to say about each song.

Adrian’s picks:

The Pillows – “I Think I Can”

This song speaks “play the music you want to play; just have fun” to me. We took that ideology to the max when writing 18 Summers. The kind of carelessness and enjoyment on this song for sure rubbed off on me when writing and recording this record.

Circa Survive – “Lustration”

I absolutely love the drumming pattern in this song. Circa Survive is my favorite band of all time, so of course I had to include a song from them. When this song was released it was on repeat for months. Some parts feel like they shouldn’t make sense but they do. I love listening to music like that.

The Strokes – “Machu Picchu”

When we started writing this record, asked Cj what kind of music should I be listening to and he pointed me to Angles by The Strokes. I’m so glad he showed me this album. I think it’s one of the most perfect indie pop songs and I really wanted to apply that kind of vibe on this album.

CJ’s picks:

Radiohead – “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”

I stand by this as my top favorite song of all time. It was the first time a song made me feel completely other-wordly and out of my own mind with its wave like structure and hypnotizing melodies and landscapes. Every time I listen to this there’s something new I pick up on, there’s just so many layers to get lost in.

The Beach Boys – “Surfer Girl”

This song is very special to me because it’s something I grew up listening to from my childhood all the way into my teens. It became a literal part of my mind, rubbing off on me enough to become a prominent influence for my song writing later on. All in all, this song is just an undeniable classic.

Funeral Party – “Where Did It Go Wrong”

I found out about this band one year at Warped Tour. I went to go get a snow cone while  waiting for another band I knew to watch, and they were playing this song right behind me which instantly caught my attention. This song became an anthem for me through high school and ultimately served as a break-through for my song-writing. There’s many different influences and things that make RHF what it is, but this song introduced me to a style that is now embedded within me.

Chuck “Spyder” Hogan’s picks:

Mew – “Beach”

The synths in this song and the way they play off of the melodies ang guitar lines really inspired me and kinda showed me a way to write synth lines that i hadn’t tried before. This song (especially the bridge) was the main inspiration behind most of my synth work on the album.

The 1975 – “She’s American”

The chorus of this song gave me some great ideas for twinkly keyboard parts that you can hear in the end of Good For You and in the chorus of San Junipero. I’ve been listening to the 1975 since their first album and this album heavily inspired me to be more creative and try new sounds with keyboards, especially since 18 Summers was the first music i’ve helped write as a keyboard player.

Two Door Cinema Club – “Do You Want It All?”

Two Door Cinema Club has been one of my favorite bands since their first record ‘Tourist History’ and when CJ showed me the demo for Seattle Queen I remembered the chorus of this song having nice swelling synth pads that filled the sonic space that the guitars weren’t using. I went back and listened to this song before writing the synth pad section at the end of Seattle Queen and it came out exactly as I imagined it.

Emilio’s picks:

Queens of the Stone Age – “I Appear Missing”

What a huge inspiration to me, this one is. It’s composed so intricately and delivered so smoothly, managing to stay interesting throughout its entire six minute duration. The bass lines are simple when they need to be, which makes the moments where they strike that much more powerful. I really appreciate the way this song feels like a standalone story through the music alone; it’s electrifying, and makes me want to pick up a bass every time I listen to it.

Sufjan Stevens – “Fourth of July”

This song and I have a very particular relationship. Anybody who’s listened to it is already familiar with how melancholy it is. Sufjan Stevens paints such a vivid picture of lament and futility while surrounding me with a deeply beautiful sonic landscape. There’s never been another song that makes me feel the way Fourth of July does. It’s so depressing, but ultimately inspiring and breathes new life into me every time I listen to it. I hope that I, too, can invoke a similar feeling to audiences through music one day.

Sturgill Simpson – “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)”

I found this song during a strange country kick I was having around the time it was released. Before listening to it, I never would have expected to call it one of my favorite songs. The second half of the song has bass line so groovy that it makes me want to get up and dance every time. It’s simple, but so beautiful and effective. This song helped me realize that good music isn’t necessarily about how technically-able you are as a musician. In a lot of ways (to me), it’s about discipline, and not overdoing it.   

Michael’s picks:

The 1975 – “Sex”

This song is the epitome of why I love indie pop music. It’s such a simple, fun song even though the lyrics are scandalous and dark. Instrumentally it has a vibe that I would love to incorporate into our own music. It also has phenomenal production and one of the best snare’s I’ve ever heard.

John Frusciante – “Song To Sing When I’m Lonely”

This song is incredibly nostalgic to me. It was hard to choose because this is one of my favorite records ever, full of so many great tracks but this one in particular has all the elements that I love in a song. The song writing is so simple, but I love the structure that he uses, along with some of my favorite vocal harmonies I’ve ever heard. The vibe is kind of melancholy but upbeat at the same time. He has such a unique style that I haven’t found in other artists and I’d highly recommend diving into his discography.

Foo Fighters – “Everlong”

This song is a no brainer for me and I feel like everyone else in the band would agree, even if it didn’t make their list. It’s so inspiring from a songwriting perspective and will be a classic forever. Combining such a simple structure, a great rhythm and riff with in my opinion one of the best choruses of all time just shows that you don’t need to make your music complex for it to be good. Sometimes simple is better and that shows here.

Playlist: Modern Racket’s Top 10 California Bands

Modern Racket

Modern Racket picked their top 10 bands from California for our latest playlist feature. Check out their selections and why they made them.

Weezer- “Buddy Holly”

Weezer is a huge influence to us and this band has been around for a long time and are still putting out great music! This misfits band of dorky rocker types reflects ourselves in ways that relate to so much, which is pretty cool. We choose, “Buddy Holly,” because it’s one of our favorites by them.

FIDLAR- “No Waves”

FIDLAR is a new band that we’ve had all kind of discovered together at the same time and instantly vibed with. Thier song writing and power hitting originals really brought together a sound that we’ve been searching for. So glad to see a band like this playing all over the place. They deserve it. We chose, “No Waves,” because this was the first song we’ve all heard together.

The Frights- “You Are Going To Hate This”

More or less from SD county but still pretty close to L.A. The Frights are another band that is quite new in the scene and captured our attention really quickly. We look up to these once local bands that have spread and are now getting recognized all over. Their sound is a modernized 50s rock and we like it! “You Are Going To Hate This,” is the song we chose because when we wanna agree to The Frights this is the song we play! It is also the name of their album.

Chicano Batman- “Black Lipstick”

Chicano Batman came out of nowhere and we were like, “Woah, ok. This is different!” They have such a unique sound mixed in with latino culture, which we like because 3/4 of us in the band are Hispanic. There’s so much influence when listening to them. Makes us want to definitely get a keyboardist. If you haven’t heard of Chicano Batman you’re doing it wrong! Go listen to, “Black Lipstick,” now. Like right now!

together PANGEA- “Badillac”

These newer bands coming out of left field just keep blowing our minds because it is sheer raw talent within the likes we haven’t seen for many years! And every time we discover a new local band blowing up it makes our pee pees tickle! together PANGEA brings a traditional mix of modern and classic rock to the stage and proves that Rock N Roll is far from dead! Great band! “Badillac,” is an instant favorite!

Sublime- “40oz. To Freedom”

Straight out of Long Beach, CA. Sublime will have to get an honorable mention, I mean, that’s pretty much LA still. Who doesn’t love Sublime? We don’t even have to explain this bands roots and how WE connect with them. Everyone knows why. They are just badass plain and simple and if you disagree, then you are WRONG! Just like FIDLAR says, “Lock yourself in your room with 40oz. on repeat! “40oz. To Freedom.”

Metallica- “Fight Fire With Fire”

Originated in Los Angeles but then truly branded themselves in San Francisco. Metallica is hands down the greatest metal band ever. EVER. Everyone knows Metallica but do you truly listen to Metallica? We do. Religiously. Keeps reminding us on why we do what we love. To rock faces! For those who have never listened to old Metallica just blast, “Fight Fire With Fire,” and it’ll change your life.

MEGADETH- “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”

Ok. We can’t mention Metallica without bringing up MEGADETH! For those who don’t know Dave Mustaine (singer and guitar player of MEGADETH) used to be the original lead guitarist of Metallica. Let’s show him some love because we truly cannot compare these two bands. Both great and impressive with their writings of war, government, power, and of course.. death. “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.” Best song by them!

Rage Against The Machine- “Sleep Now In The Fire”

Rage! For obvious reasons right? The only band next to MEGADETH to capture the essence of the corruption of government and greedy politics. Rage kills! Not to mention all the great hits they have! “Sleep Now In The Fire,” or bust!

The Doors- “LA Women”

The Doors are the OG’s of LA based bands and they have paved the way for all of us. There would not be half the bands we listen to if it wasn’t for The Doors. They deserve the shout out and the respect. “LA Women,” always a great song to remember them by. It has everything.

Playlist: Hello Atlantic’s 10 Songs They Wish They Wrote

Hello Atlantic

Hello Atlantic put together a list of songs that they wish they wrote. Check out a short message from the band and their song selections.

This was a tricky one for us, it took us a few days to finally decide and compile a list of songs so we each chose 3 songs and one as a group! These songs are in no specific order.. except for our #1 pick. So here goes nothing! – Hello Atlantic

1. My Chemical Romance – “Welcome to the Black Parade” 

This is the song we all agreed we wish we wrote… I mean come on, do we even need a reason why? Have you ever listened to this and have it not bring you back? The most iconic song of the 2000’s. The first note is the only note you need to hear before your nails become painted black and your hair becomes teased.  It’s an obvious pick for us, especially since one of our new songs is very heavily influenced by MCR, it’s almost TOO MCR if you ask us.

2. Atreyu – “Bleeding Mascara” (Ryan’s Pick)

So this is a weird one I know, but this was the first Atreyu song I had ever heard and from that moment on I was hooked! They are one of myall time favorite bands, it was different for me, they had this edge to them that really got me listening and now looking back on it, if I could have written a song that captured my audience and blew them away like this did me, I would choose to have written this heavy hitter, not to mention that intro track to the album that lead right into it, like woah man… this is a banger!

3.  Blink-182 – “All The Small Things” (Eric’s Pick)

This song absolutely changed the game for upcoming pop punk bands in the 90’s and 2000’s.  Aside from influencing other bands to want to become the next Blink-182, this song is like a pop punk anthem for all those 80’s and 90’s kids, and still holds true today, everyone knows this song!

4. Panic! At the Disco – “(F*** A) Silver Lining” (Ian’s Pick)

There is just so much energy to this song! Gives you those “High Hope’s”(pun intended). Panic! just keeps releasing hit after hit and that’s really all you can hope for as a band, just pumping out new material that everyone loves and writing such fun songs that you as well as your fans truly love and relate to.

5. Green Day – “Jesus of Suburbia” (Ryan’s Pick)

Talk about an epic, am I right? Green Day has always been an influential band for me, when I first listen to “Jesus Of Suburbia” my face practically melted off! Being a drummer all of those big fills in the middle of the song just really blew me away. It’s like they just mashed up a bunch of songs and riffs they had and made this absolute gem of a song, if you ever see someone listening to this song I can guarantee you’ll see them singing there heart out and drumming along to those big fills!

6. Linkin Park – “One Step Closer” (Eric’s Pick)

Linkin Park came into the scene and made a huge splash! They were such a different band for their time, and frankly that’s all we aim to be… different! “One Step Closer” came out and hit hard! Again much like most of our picks, it quickly became a huge hit and that year’s summer anthem, I want you to think of one person who doesn’t know this song… I’ll wait!

7. The Used – “The Taste Of Ink” (Ian’s Pick)

The Used is a big influence for us as a band, as well as myself as a singer and writer. This song sparks inspiration to go out into the world and be different and make a name for yourself…Or at least that’s the impression I got from it. The Used are categorized with MCR and there’s a reason for it… they wrote relatable and catchy music, but also had a different sound that really stuck out in the early 2000’s and Hello Atlantic is looking to follow that same path.

8. Panic! At The Disco – “Death of a Bachelor” (Ryan’s Pick)

Being my hardest decision of a song to pick, it was always going to be a Panic! song. They are my all time favorite band! How could I not pick one? I chose this song because I’m also a HUGE Frank Sinatra fan (he almost made the list) and Brendan really captured his big influence in this one! DOAB is such a different song not only for them, but for any newer music that is coming out these days. I wish I could write like they do, and when hearing this the second it came out I was so taken back, DOAB is just the right mix of modern and old school Jazz-esk sound, throughout High School I was always participating in our after school Jazz Ensemble which really opened my eyes to creativity and that whole realm of music. To this day I wish I could still do it and now more than ever wish I could write something as amazing as this.

9. System Of A Down – “Lonely Day” (Eric’s Pick)

How do you even begin to explain this song? Scratch that, this band? Well aside from being the only band to even write music like this, they are always testing the limits of what they write. But what really draws me into this song is that they are able to dial it back from 11 and write a more melodic and interesting song. When I first heard this song I couldn’t even believe that it was them! I mean really, compare Lonely Day to something like Chop Suey… how could a band like this even take it down a notch and make such a relatable song? And relatable is what we as musicians are always striving to do, make a song that people can relate to.

10. Dance Gavin Dance – “Summertime Gladness” (Ian’s Pick)

This is my favorite band and I’d be ashamed of myself for not including them on this list. They have been a major impact on not only my writing but also in my vocals, which hopefully you’ll be able to hear in our new EP. But back to the song… “Summertime Gladness” is just one of those weird fun songs that make you want to get up and dance to. Like seriously, who wouldn’t want to write a song that could bring so much happiness and weirdness to the table and make you just wanna move your head in the car and jam out to? Or even throw that car right into park on the highway and dance with this song cranking over the speakers. If there’s anything I want more in our new music and even on the next album is to make people wanna move their feet and simultaneously think… what a weird band, now they are something different.

Playlist: Commander Keen Share Influences For New Album

Commander Keen recently released Dying in the SouthToday, they’re sharing the songs that influenced the album. Check out their picks!

The Nerves – “Hanging on the Telephone”
In my mind this is the perfect song. There’s not a single note out of place, nothing is more complicated than it should be, and the structure is water tight; there’s not a single ounce of fat on this track. This song manages to cover a larger emotional pallet in two minutes than some bands cover in their entire careers. When I think, “How can I write a better song?”, I start here. – Blake

Weezer – “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here”
Weezer’s Blue Album had a big influence on how I wanted this record to sound. The guitars had to be massive, but harmonically rich enough to carry a hook and support the bones of a pop tune. This is one of my favorite songs to blast in the car on a nice day while I’m driving around town. For me, this track gets better the louder you play it. Listening to this record over and over again really hammered Blue Album’s sonic construction into my head. In my opinion, this track captures it best. – Blake

McLusky – “She Will Only Bring You Happiness”
McLusky is a band that, in my opinion, never got its proper accolades. They were sonically unique in the era of Indie-Rock Rides Again (2000-2010), and they were just too mean and too sharp to be generally likeable. This is arguably the most un-McLusky McLusky song, but the bite is still there; there’s a real picture of quiet desperation and mechanical living inside this Pavement-esque slacker stroll. As far as our record is concerned, this track in particular served as a great example of how you can say what you really want to say in a song by dialing things back a bit and letting the track breathe. McLusky was a great band, please listen to them. – Blake

Hawkwind – “Master of the Universe” (Space Ritual Live Version)
Space Ritual and No Sleep til’ Hammersmith are two of my favorite live albums. I think it’s no coincidence they both feature the late, great Lemmy Kilmister. When you break down Hawkwind to its elemental core, they’re a punk-rock band. Their brand of psychedelia is fast, and it would probably scare you a little bit if you were high on LSD at one of their shows. I personally don’t consider us a psychedelic band, but we have a few numbers that reach into that lysergic ether a bit. Hawkwind’s brand of high energy psychedelic rock is something I’ve certainly tried to draw from. – Blake

Joy Division – “Warsaw”
This song, to me, embodies the structure of punk rock and Peter Hook’s tight control of the rhythm was a definite inspiration for the bass parts on this record specifically. – Matt

Alice Cooper – “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
The bass track in this one carries a strong harmony to Alice Coopers main vocal melody and the soaring riffs and solos featured. It inspires me to think about parts in terms of intervals. In my mind I want to play bass like that all the time. – Matt

The High Numbers – “Zoot Suit”
This is one of The Who’s (formerly the High Numbers) earliest singles. Aside from Entwistle being my all time hero, the swagger they put off as a band is palpable in this track. Their early stuff before they embraced the hard rocking sold out arena shows (also great) has this effortless coolness about it that I will probably never attain. – Matt

The Dramatics – “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”
Stax records was kinda the Southern rival to Motown back in the day. Being based out of TN, I’m partial to it. Anytime I listen to a record produced by this label it undoutably has the best wall of sound vibe you can find. Horns. Strings. It’s all there. Being in a 3 piece band, it’s important to try to play “big.” For me, this song definitely inspires that effort. – Matt

Green Day – “She”
This was the first record I ever remember hearing, and this track is my favorite. I love how Tre Cool drives every song. – Zach

James Gang – “The Bomber”
For me is the epitome of Southern rock and roll. Three piece, loud, and incredible drumming. His style is one of my favorites. – Zach

State Champion – “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love”
These guys are from Louisville and should have way more recognition. The songwriting is fantastic and obviously the drums on this track hook you from the start. – Zach

Cloud Nothings – “Wasted Days”
I basically modeled a lot of my playing on Dying in the South after this dude. I fell in love with the intensity and minimalistic kit setup this guy uses. Despite only one cymbal and one Tom, he is able to push the song that much more. – Zach

Joe Diffie – “John Deere Green”
A solid 75% of what we listen to on the road is country music. A good bulk of pop-country is super corny, but it’s way too catchy. Joe Diffie played a show in Lebanon, TN and we emailed the promoted and begged him to let us open. We made a solid case, but we did not get to play the show. You just can’t deny how good this chorus is! – The band

Playlist: Gloop Share Favorite Songs of 2018 So Far

Gloop

Gloop hail from Maryland and today they’ve shared a playlist of their favorite songs of 2018 so far. Give the playlist a listen!

Dom’s Picks 

Fratmouth – “Download Yr Meat Judge”

We just played with them and I have yet to listen to the whole album. But they play wild music and put on a wild show. To not be missed if you like feeling uneasy.

Thought Eater –  “Bones in the Fire, Pt. 1”

RIFF AWAY THE PAIN.

John R. Miller – “Red Eyes”

Local hero does good! I still remember the first time I saw John play in Shepherdstown, WV when I was 18. He was just a level up from everyone else in terms of songwriting.

HIRS – “Invisible”

HIRS continues to blow me away, one day I will check them out live.

Blake’s Picks

Fire! – “The Hands” 

Bass, saxophone, and drums. Really locked in and hypnotic.

Hatchie – “Sure”

Undeniably my favorite song of the year so far.

Kero Kero Bonito – “You Know How It Is”

My summer earworm from their latest EP. In this track KKB traded in their usual electronic pop sound and leaned more on fuzzy guitars reminiscent of The Pillows. Proof to me that solid songwriting really is the end all.

Drinks – “Corner Shops”

A lovely weirdo rock collaboration between Cat Le Bon and Tim Presley. This is also a PSA that the Drag City catalog is available on Spotify now.

Max’s Picks

Blessed – “Sound”

This song is 7 minutes long and worth every second; sounds really complex but easy to remember.

Tunic – “Teeth Showing”

Raw, balls to the wall noise rock.

Pretty Please – “Milk Steak”

Solid heavy sludge with catchy melody and dissonant guitar parts.

Frigs – “Talking Pictures”

A curious song with a driving beat.

Playlist: Familiar Things Share Their Top Philly Bands

Familiar Things

Familiar Things took some time to let us know about their favorite bands from Philly. We’ve compiled the songs into a playlist for you to enjoy. Familiar Things recently released a new EP, Fade Into The Scenery, which you can check out on Bandcamp.

The Wonder Years –  “The Orange Grove”

The Wonder Years’ album The Upsides was a big part of the reason that a few of us got into pop punk music in the first place, and it has been amazing to watch them grow and transcend the genre since then. This song off their latest album Sister Cities is a personal favorite of mine.

Grayscale – “If I Ever See You Again”

Our band’s sound has a lot in common with the way Grayscale writes their songs, with their honest, catchy pop punk sound with interesting instrumentation and arrangements, which is the reason we are definitely fans of theirs. If I Ever See You Again includes piano in a pretty upbeat, banging song, which we can definitely connect to.

Dryjacket – “Misused Adrenaline”

Some of the members of Dryjacket are some of our friends from high school in South Jersey, and we have always admired their music, even from their past bands. All of Dryjacket’s music that they have put out so far is phenomenally intricate and well-written, and we can’t wait to hear what they have coming next.

The Menzingers – “After the Party”

The Menzingers just keep pumping out fun punk rock jams album after album, and their latest one After the Party might just be their best. The title track off the album is so good and just makes you want to dance and scream your lungs out to the chorus. They are definitely a hometown favorite of ours.

Kississippi – “Easier to Love”

Kississippi is a Philly band that has peaked on our radar more recently. Not only have they just completed a tour with one of our favorite bands, Dashboard Confessional, we can’t help but admire the honest and vulnerable vibes that are translated through their music. Listening to their songs such as Easier to Love is truly a captivating experience, and we’re excited to see what they have in store for the future!

The Starting Line – “Decisions, Decisions”

This band right here might be the best pop punk/emo band that has come out of the area and one of the most respected in the genre. There is nothing like the feeling of being young and in love or having your heart ripped from your chest for the first time and that is a moment this band, in my opinion, captures perfectly on their first album Say It Like You Mean It. They have a way of writing incredibly catchy hooks that will have your head swimming in pure ecstasy even if you are relating to the bitter sweetness of young love. This song is a personal favorite of mine that embodies everything they are about: bouncy, fun, but while singing about heartache.

Modern Baseball – “Apartment”

I always admired these guys because of their quirky, clever, and creative spins on classic pop punk and emo music. All of their music is so honest and relatable, and it’s hard not to just love watching or listening to them. “Apartment” has such a great chord progression and and dynamics, in addition to their witty and fun lyrics. They definitely represent the Philly music scene well.

The Early November – “Baby Blue”

This bridge goes so hard. The way Ace Enders and the guys take The Get Up Kid’s line “I don’t want you to love me anymore” and spins it in this song made me want to hate mosh to the thought of me breaking up with my imaginary girlfriend.

Valencia – “The Space Between”

“Don’t forget about the blue skies, sunrise, and all the space between.” Everyone can relate to reminiscing on the good times, memories, and the people they have spent them with. Over time we lose touch with old friends and flames but that’s alright because we will always have those memorable moments forever.

Man Overboard – “Montrose”

This song hits pretty hard despite not being a heavy song at all. When I hear it I feel like I’m floating in love and that nothing can pull you back down to earth. This is a very special song in that sense because who doesn’t like to feel weightless looking at the person they are wrapped up in?