1. Cluster | Caramel
Simple, sexy and Organic Electronic Music. For the last 3 years, this Music has been played in the studio when we want to clear the air and dance.
2. Van Morrison | Brown Eyed Girl
Jumping and running down sand dunes... Exploring caves and swimming in the vicious cold Atlantic Ocean off the oath coast of Donegal in Ireland. We used to sing this song every summer. It still makes me well up with tears when I hear it. Long summers as a child when nothing mattered except when dinner was served and how late you could stay out until with your friends.
3. John Grant | Outer Space
I think you must be extra terrestrial, because you can open the Heavens for me with just one smile... John Grant is a favourite artist of mine. It's his use of day to day, gut honest lyrics coupled with metaphors and imagery. The sounds in this song blend the Electronic with Acoustic in a way that gives you a feeling on stepping into Space, stepping into Love and being carried away with the Stars. I was listening to this on a long flight once and it opened up my ears to a different approach to writing lyrics.
4. Bernard Herrmann | Vertigo Prelude And Rooftop (Vertigo Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Obsessive and suspenseful and full of release with the swirling melodies and bold chords. The film and the Music are just beyond perfection with the style, the drama, the characters. Amazing.
5. John Foxx | He's A Liquid
Mad and anthemic synth lines and lyrics... Yet simple and understated. No musical fluff on this track at all. Everything is there for a reason. I play with John live and the amount of Inspiration and Musical Knowledge I have gained from him and his collaborator Benge over the last 2 years has been wonderful. Love playing this tune live with my violin going through racks of vintage guitar effect pedals.
6. Jon Hopkins | Insides
So happy to see his Music go massive on his latest record Immunity. His records are full of beauty and sensitive sounds. It never feels like it's been influenced by other people and the Music industries need for cash. Saul Bass, the graphic designer has a great quote online about making anything he does beautiful. If it's not, it doesn't go out the door.
7. Sandy Denny | Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (Home Demo Recording)
Steeped in Melancholy. Sometimes I feel like an old lady inside a young body and when I hear this song it reminds me that we only live once. Across the evening sky all the birds are leaving... But how can they know it's time for them to go? Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming I have no thought of Time...
8. Erland And The Carnival | Love Is A Killing Thing
When my first record was released, my label suggested going on tour with the band. We ended up touring together in UK, then in Europe, then formed a new band called The Magnetic North. We travelled to Orkney and the Scottish isles to record the album and toured again. Erland has now produced my last two EP's and we will finish the full record together. Sometimes you are destined to meet others. This song jumps and sways and punches and soothes. Magical.
9. Steve Reich/Kronos Quartet/Pat Metheny | Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast
When I was studying in Liverpool, someone gave me this and Different Trains on a CD and it was the first time I heard the Music of Steve Reich. The repetitive movements and motion, the drama when slight changes occur to lift or bring the pieces up or down, the weight of the inspiration behind the Music and sampled words. Music you can travel to. It's definitely an album I put on when driving and need time to reflect to. I must have listened to this record hundreds of times and it still never loses its interest.
10. Roy Orbison | Crying
On tour in France. Sun and the smells of Paris. On our way to do our first Magnetic North show out of the UK. Singing the words as loud as we could. Simon Tong knocks off the wing mirror of the van and curses.