1. The Beach Boys | All I Wanna Do
I love everything about this song. The first time I heard it was after someone pointed out that it was the inspiration for Animal Collective's Guy's Eyes. Some people call it the first Chillwave song, which is silly, but all the elements are there; the dreamy vocals, the reverb, the simplicity. I sampled this song in one of the first songs I ever produced. I remember going on a road trip with my best friend and listening to my creation on repeat the whole way there. I was so proud of myself. If I never found this song, I might never have continued to make Music. If I ever make a movie there will be a scene of someone slitting their wrists in a yellow bathroom to this song. Imagine a pool of red blood slowly growing on a yellow tile floor; morbid, but beautiful in my mind.
2. The Beatles | Peace Of Mind (Candle Burns)
This song is allegedly by The Beatles and is commonly found on bootleg albums, but it's more likely a home recorded demo that was sent to Abbey Road Studios in the 60's by an unknown artist, which appeals to me much more than if it was a unreleased Beatles song. I remember taking some painkillers for a really nasty toothache in High School, coming home and nodding out to this song.
3. Rosie And The Originals | Angel Baby
This is my and my girlfriend's song. I am a sucker for anything with the Doo Wop chord progression. Legend has it that this song was recorded in an airplane hanger on a two track tape machine by a 15 year old. Sometimes I will import this song into Ableton Live, slow it down a bit and add some reverb and listen to it on loop for hours.
4. Nicolas Jaar | Too Many Kids Finding Rain In The Dust
I saw Nicolas Jaar at Pitchfork Music Festival a few years ago. It was the first time I heard his music and I was completely blown away by the performance of this song. It was a rainy summer day and my friend and I had drank some opium tea and everything in the World seemed perfect the first time I heard this song. Listening to it now brings me back to that place.
5. Daniel Johnston | The Beatles
Discovering Daniel Johnston changed my life. He taught me that you can make Music on your own with whatever you had at your disposal. On the surface the whole song is just him talking about how much he loves The Beatles, but it's much deeper to me. The lyrics give a glimpse into Daniel's hopes and dreams, as well as his work ethic as a musician. He sings about working hard to earn respect. Daniel Johnston, and this song is why I record and release Music compulsively.
6. Hirut Bekele | Track 1 (from an Unknown Tape on Awesome Tapes From Africa Blog)
I don't know much about this song or the artist other than Hirut Bekele was an Ethiopian Folk singer and her son is playing some sort of instrument on this song. This song magically appeared on my computer somehow. I have no idea where it came from, what she is saying, what instruments are being played. I listened to this song on repeat on an hour long train ride home from Chicago. Her voice is unreal. I like to pretend this song was recorded by aliens.
7. Dave Bixby | 666
A home recorded downer Folk song for the ages. Dave Bixby is an ex-drug addict who found religion in a destructive Christian cult called The Movement. The story of this album is a fascinating one, and anyone reading this should look it up. It's one of my dreams to collaborate with the man.
8. Boards Of Canada | Dawn Chorus
This is my favorite Boards Of Canada song. Anyone who's heard my music can tell that the Sandison brothers have had a huge influence on my work. This song is a mystery to me. I, and countless others, have tried to recreate the Magic that BOC manage to create in their bunker, and no one has come close. If a perfect song exists, this is it. I have a nice memory sampling this song in an unreleased Heavy Ghost song years ago. We decided it would be a good idea to record a live EP in my friend Jon's basement to a cassette tape. I remember listening back to it in his garage during a smoke break and being blown away, even though what we had recorded wasn't very good at all.
9. Fleetwood Mac | Rhiannon
My parents rarely played Music in the house growing up, but when they did, it was Fleetwood Mac. I remember laying in bed listening to this song when I was probably 10 or 11 with the covers pulled over my head, listening to this song. It was the first song I really ever analyzed and picked apart. I would listen to the song over and over, focusing on different instruments each time until I fell asleep.
10. Roy Orbison | In Dreams
Roy Orbison is one of the best singers to ever live. If my Grandpa was alive, he would be so proud that I am into Roy now. My Grandpa was a big Music fan, and an even bigger Music snob (I've inherited both qualities). He knew what he liked, and knew even better what he hated. He sat me down to watch Roy Orbison's Black And White special on PBS one time to show me what real Music was. Thanks, Grandpa.