Wilco - 'Shot in the Arm'

If there were one band that we could model our career after it would be Wilco. To us, these guys embody the idea of sonic evolution and the spontaneity necessary to keep the fan on their toes. If you haven’t been converted after listening to a tune of theirs, you’ll get all the religion you need watching this band live. There’s a reason Wilco has been able to do it for almost 25 years; they fuckin’ rule.

Kendrick Lamar - 'The Heart Part 4'

Music is so safe nowadays. I believe it’s because not many mainstream artists are willing to push the boundaries of sound and vision. Then there is Kendrick. Simply put, nobody is doing it like Kendrick, because nobody can do it like Kendrick. He gives me hope for the future of music and is certainly in the process of inspiring young creative minds to challenge normalcy and think progressively. Music is lucky to have this man.

The Smiths - 'The Night Has Opened My Eyes'

There is no greater enigma alive in music than Morrissey. The folklore is almost as entertaining as the music itself. But I can’t be remiss and not talk about his noise. He has perfected a way of tiptoeing the line of existential meltdown and complete nirvana all at once. His happiest lyrical moments even find a way to possess the sorrow of the world. Plus, I hear he kisses himself to sleep every night.

Gilbert O'Sullivan - 'Alone Again (Naturally)'

Not much needs to be said about this tune, the story sorts of writes itself. As a fellow sad Irishman myself, I envy the ease of this arrangement more than you’ll ever know. To be honest, I don’t know much else by Gilbert O’Sullivan, but that sort of highlights the magnitude of the songwriting here. Still trying to write my own 'Alone Again' at some point.

Spoon - 'Shotgun'

Spoon has enjoyed the kind of success bands can only dream of; they have become dads that make radical records. To a casual fan (like myself) their success seams to have been sneakily doctored up over the past 20 plus years. There seems to be a point in a bands career where the audience just starts to trust you, and this appears to be exactly where Spoon is at this point, and for good reason. Just solid all in all.

Roy Orbison - 'You Got It'

You want to hear a near perfect song? Here it is. This man had such a way with arrangement and melody within the realm of pop music. Mr. Orbison continues to make me realize that a pop song can be as a tough as any rock song around. Kinda makes me want to get a portrait of his face tattooed on my bum like Henry Winkler.

Bob Dylan - 'Going, Going, Gone'

I admittedly pay closest attention to melody in song. Meaning when I’m listening to most music, lyrics often take a backseat in my brain. That said, Dylan somehow flips a switch in my ear and has me clinging to each and every word. To me, he is a poet first and songwriter second. I wasn’t fully sold on the man until I heard Planet Waves, and specifically this song right here. Dylan spits the truth and leaves little rom for interpretation which is an extremely bold approach that deserves all ears.

Third Eye Blind - 'Another Life'

We’ve made no bones about embracing the 90’s era of music, and we’ve certainly never shied away from being vocal 3EB super fans. I’ll never forget hearing Out Of The Vein for the first time. I practically cried. Mostly because I didn’t write any of the songs. Even upon first listen, Third Eye packs an unbelievable sense of nostalgia within their sound and has you convinced you’ve heard the songs at some point in a past life. God, I love them.

Neil Young - 'Peace Trail'

All the aforementioned talk of careers is engulfed by what this man has been able to do in his lifetime. I’m pretty sure Neil Young is older than some of the oldest bristlecone pines which would put him at somewhere above 5,000 years of age, and he still continues to create and share his voice to this day. Though the past few releases have fallen on my two deaf ears, 'Peace Trail' sounds like something off of Harvest Moon which was some 20 releases ago. Neil won’t ever burn out.

Cigarettes After Sex - 'Apocalypse'

I missed the whole Mazzy Star train because I was five when it arrived, but luckily I’m on board the CAS car. The whole sound of this band seems to blend in my ears but in the greatest way imaginable. It’s the perfect soundtrack to almost any emotion in any setting. Your world could be falling apart or finally coming together and Cigarettes After Sex could be right there with you acting as the score. I’m so into them at the moment that I put their name in one of our new tunes, 'Bad Behavior.'

The Maine's new LP, Lovely Little Lonely, comes out tomorrow. You can listen to the group's recent track, 'Bad Behavior', below.