1. Animal Collective | In The Flowers
Animal Collective has always said that their songs can be interpreted in different ways. The lyrics in the song speak to me in relation to when I use to rave a lot when I was younger and the connection I had with dancing, Music and certain people I’d meet throughout the night. It’s a song I listen to when I need some time away from the real world and want to go into a meditative trance like state.
2. The Strokes | Machu Picchu
One thing about me is that I love super happy summertime music; the summer after this album came out, this song was something I listened to brighten up my day. I had been a fan of The Strokes for a long time and everyone wasn’t sure how this album would turn out because they hadn’t released anything in a minute. But I loved the album and this songs energy definitely helped me get through days where I’d be too tired to do anything.
3. Animal Collective | Fireworks
This was the first song I had ever heard by Animal Collective: after listening to it for the first time one year on Christmas Eve; I fell in love. The emotions I go through when listening to this song are kind of indescribable, it takes me to another place. This song was actually one of the songs that made me think… Wow, I’d like to make a song as beautiful as this one day.
4. Neon Indian | Mind, Drips
There’s a funny story to this song… Haha. It was one of the first songs I listened to when experimenting with LSD for the first time. I had never heard music like it before (my friends said that it was Chillwave, haha.). This song stood out to me than the rest of the music I had heard that night. The layers of analog synths gave this song a new wave type vibe, but this sound that existed was very new and it captivated me. I thought to myself… I’ve always enjoyed New Wave and 80’s Pop, but I prefer a lot more like this; and that was the beginning of me experimenting with Production.
5. Crystal Castles | Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) (Platinum Blonde Cover)
I’ve always been a fan of The Cure; my parents raised me listening to bands like The Cure & The Smiths, but The Cure was a band that both my mother and father loved. When I first started listening to Crystal Castles I was like cool they have an interesting sound; kind of 8-Bit with some Trance feel, but very Punk like vocals. When I heard this song my perspective on their music had changed (for I hadn’t heard their albums all the way through at that point). This song gave me chills as I listened to Robert Smith's vocals over this chill trance like melody. It’s definitely a sad song, but the kind that I tear up to because I think it’s so beautiful (I use that adjective too much, don’t I?)...
6. Starflyer 59 | I Like Your Photographs
My father was definitely the one who I got my music taste from. He raised me listening to lots of Alternative/80’s Music, but also introduced me to a lot of underground bands that he enjoyed. There was this one band by the name of Starflyer 59 that really got my attention. They had this Shoegazey sound that was sort of like My Bloody Valentine, but they weren’t always so Noise oriented and had these very trippy mellow songs. I Like Your Photographs is my favorite song by them and is definitely one of their more mellow songs. Not only do I love the lyrics in the song, but there is this slight Western vibe to it making the song feel even more epic and I don’t know… Different. I also liked the idea of having soft vocals in a song where the singer's voice isn’t so prominent; I wanted to always sing on my songs, but am not the best singer so this really appealed to me since I used to really enjoy writing lyrics and didn’t know any singers who would want to work with me, haha.
7. Crystal Fighters | Champion Sound
Crystal Fighters was a band who I was introduced to by this Russian Foreign Exchange student who became quite the close friend of mine. This song in particular was my favorite and most memorable songs of the times that he lived in America; it was Junior Year of High School and definitely was an adventurous time for me. A time when I made new friendships with people who had common Art and Music interests as me, a time when I first started going out to Raves, and a time I got to hang out with a bunch of hippie-ish friends and go hiking and explore Nature. This song just really reminds me of the time that I really got to realize who I was and what I wanted to do in life.
8. Atmosphere | God’s Bathroom Floor
Hip Hop has always been a big part of my life, but not many people really know that. I grew up listening to a lot of Underground Alternative Hip Hop type stuff (was really into the Gorillaz, Portishead, Eminem, John Reuben, Macklemore, Nas) and, well, Atmosphere was a rapper that I had discovered in High School and I think he quickly became one of my favorite rappers. This song in particular talking about having a date with Divinity was something I could really relate to. In a time where I was getting to know myself I also lost my self and started to not know where I was in life. I was very disoriented and all I knew was relating to things that were out of this world, I didn’t think I was crazy (well at times I did), but most people didn’t know what the hell I was talking about at times. That phase passed by and I went through it again after High School and, well, this song is just something I can relate to on all kinds of levels and is pretty important to me.
9. ATB | Ecstasy
Dance Music was something that I always liked to listen to that my parents definitely weren’t very fond of. At a young age I listened to stuff like Daft Punk and Basshunter pretty often and, well, I kind of stopped listening to Dance Music all together after a while. When I first started listening to it again I was introduced to this song Ecstasy; after hearing it all the way through, my love for Electronic Music became quite powerful. I started listening to a lot more Electronic Dance Music after hearing this song; everything from House & Trance to Happy HXC & Dubstep. Slowly I went back to listening to all kinds of music again and kind of grew out of certain styles of Electronic Music, but this song definitely revived my love for Electronic Music enough to where I started producing House and Trance like tracks. This is still 'til today one of my favorite Dance songs.
10. Animal Collective | Loch Raven
This song just puts me in a mood where I can be completely in tune with myself. I feel so at home and it really brings tears to my eyes, but I’m happy. This is the song I listen to anytime I feel negative and it really grounds me but at the same time it takes me to another place. I really tried hard not to have too many Animal Collective songs in my top ten, but they are my favorite band in the world so it was kind of hard.