1. Slowdive | Country Rain
Souvlaki was one of the first non-commercial albums I’d ever heard as a pre-teen. It was pretty ground-breaking for me. It sounded and felt so foreign and I’d never heard anything like it in my life. It remains to this day one of my top favorite albums of all time. Country Rain was another one of those songs that I’d play on loop. It really captured the melancholy of my youth and was a go-to song for drives along the beaches where I lived near in later years.
2. Sunny Day Real Estate | 8
This was another one of those Life-changing moments for me. I don’t exactly remember why, but I wanted the Batman Forever soundtrack when I was a kid, so my mom ended up buying it for me. Looking back, there were some real gems on that album. I remember the first time hearing Jeremy Enigk’s voice and trying to figure out what the hell kind of accent he was singing in. I remember the Music being so powerful and raw. The pink LP and Diary ended up being incredibly influential albums for me as well.
3. Sting | The Lazarus Heart
My dad’s collection of Cheesy Music was impressive. Pretty sure he alone keeps the Watercolours satellite radio station in business. Anyways, ...Nothing Like The Sun was one of those weird albums that I secretly stole from my dad and was drawn to the moods it created. Albums from that time in this style of Music had this really kind of airy quality to them. Like, a lot of DX7 pianos, fretless bass, clean guitars with chorus. Andy Summers, one of my favorite guitarists ever, also played on this album, which adds instant points. I love the arp in the beginning of this song and Summers’ guitar tone. Sting actually is a fantastic lyricist, which I guess comes from his days of being an English teacher. Apparently he wrote this album after his mother died, and so the lyrical imagery is a little more striking.
4. Onra | My Comet
To me, this song represents everything great about solid Beat Production. It’s so fresh, the sampling is perfect, and it just nails that laid back mood.
5. Washed Out | Feel It All Around
I had to include this because it was like the first a ha! moment when I was first thinking about making Music with 80s influences. This kind of nailed it and paved the way for a lot of other producers. Still a classic.
6. Rocketship | Heather, Tell Me Why
I just love everything about this song. It was one of the few odd breaks of the album that kind of counter-balanced the other super happy songs on it. I love how old it sounds but still strikes a youthful chord. I was a sad gloomy kid when I was younger and I used to love hearing this song over and over.
7. Aphex Twin | Flim
The first time I heard this song I was waiting in our friend’s driveway for band practice and our bass player pulled up into the driveway blaring this song. I could feel the bass from across the driveway. I never knew Music could sound that pretty and disjointed.
8. Tears For Fears | I Believe
A friend of mine had Songs From The Big Chair and I remember listening to that record and hearing this song and loving how moody it was. It was this weird little Loungey piano track in the middle of this album with these huge hits and I just loved how gentle it was and how atmospheric everything was. Orzabal’s vocals just soar and I love the moments when they let the song kind of fall apart a little bit. This song really captured a lot of Melancholy that I felt in my youth.
9. Holy Other | Held
The ending to this song is some of the most moving moments in Music I’ve ever heard. So delicate and tragic. Absolutely gorgeous. There’s a YouTube video of this song set to Terrence Malick visuals and it’s pretty fitting.
10. Oneohtrix Point Never | Chrome Country
For me, this is Daniel Lopatin’s best work. R Plus Seven was a complete masterpiece, an absolute work of Art. I love the pads in this song and how they fix the guides in place for all these other elements to dance around it, i.e. the little vocal edits, the sub, etc. I love how operatic everything is and how it all climaxes into this incredible choral finish. Someone should write an opera using this song.