Drowning in ‘Oceans’ of our influences…
Mark Owens – Vocals/Guitar
Recently, we (The Yada Yada Yadas) released our debut single ‘Oceans’ onto an unsuspecting world. In celebration of this, i’ve compiled a short list of the influential tracks that drive a man to do what he does.
Pavement – Stereo
Stereo by Pavement exemplifies some of my favourite aspects found within the art of modern guitar playing. Stephen Malkmus splats his guitar across the track in a struggle full of emotion and intensity, in the audiological equivalent of a Jackson Pollock. Listening to this track for the first time made me realise i’d been playing the guitar wrong my whole life.
Yuck – Get Away
Myself and Harley (guitar) would speak for hours on end about the subtle, creamy, beautiful fuzz tone on the lead guitar in the song. Topics of riveting (ok, mildly interesting…) conversation included the bending notes that never quite reach their destination, falling ever so short in the most lazy laid back way. Just as with the aforementioned Pavement track, this is more than just playing the notes, and it’s not something that can be quantified, notated, or imitated. It’s a truly personal style of guitar playing.
Big Star – September Gurls
At the tender age of 15 i sat enthralled in a Middlesbrough bar, as i watched someone performing the most wonderful pop tune called ‘September Gurls’. For years i’d remember the melody, but i could never quite remember the lyrics, thus forcing a wall between myself and my inevitable love for Big Star. Eventually i got to listen to Number 1 Record, and it was definitely worth the wait.
The Flaming Lips – She Don’t Use Jelly
It’s the imperfection within this song, and most Flaming Lips songs which delivers their sweet and characteristic charm. This imperfection is what grounds the track and makes it relatable, forcing me to brush away it’s dusty exterior and slowly reveal what’s been hiding inside the whole time. The Flaming Lips are one of my favourite bands, with this track and many tracks from the album ‘Clouds Taste Metallic’ having a huge influence upon my songwriting journey.
The Moldy Peaches – NYC’s Like a Graveyard
I love the simplicity and fearless innocence of this track. This track had a big influence on the vocal sound i decided to go for in ‘Oceans’. Distortion is an effect that i always love to hear on the human voice, whether classic 50s saturation, or Kanye’s emotive yelps in ‘Black Skinhead’.
Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland 1945
Nostalgically heartbreaking 90s lo-fi goodness. Jeff Mangum’s lyrics can’t help but capture my unbroken attention. The visceral nature, vivid imagery and tongue twisting use of alliteration within these words really defines a large part of what Neutral Milk Hotel are all about. This track also makes it into my list for next week consisting of my ‘10 favourite trombone solos of all time’.
Weezer – Pink Triangle
How could i write a list of influences without including US power pop giants weezer? Whilst the ‘Blue Album’ is undeniably a landmark work in this history of alternative rock, the darker follow up and ugly sister ‘Pinkerton’ often falls under the radar of listeners. ‘Pink Triangle’ is a shining example of Rivers Cuomo crafting a beautiful melody in the form of a musical question and answer, rising and falling ever so sweetly.
The Cribs – Come On, Be a No-One
It’s an undisputable fact that if you slice a Jarman open, they will bleed catchy choruses profusely all over your new living room carpet. They stain your mind and can’t be wiped clean. Fellow northern lads, we salute you, big muffs all round.
Dinosaur Jr – Start Choppin
It would be ridiculous of me to create this list without adding a Dinosaur Jr song. Dinosaur Jr obviously have a huge influence on The Yadas sound, it’s impossible to deny it. J. Mascis songwriting style and guitar sound has rubbed off on me in a big way, and this is an era of recent history that we take a lot of inspiration from, whether it be popular US sitcoms, stand-ups, bands and even movies.
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