The xx - The xx

This record means a lot to me because there wasn’t anything that sounded like it, like absolutely nothing. And now I would say a lot of things sound like it, so I think if anyone younger revisited it they’d be like “I don’t get it, this is cool, but it sounds kind of like the stuff that’s out right now”.

But when this record came out no one had ever done anything like they were doing before, it was the moody vocals with the drum machine behind it with the crazy textured guitar on top, like no chords. They all played by themselves but together, and made songs I had never heard before, which is super special.

From a Basement on the Hill - Elliott Smith

So I just pulled out an Elliott Smith record, and that’s an artist that has been very inspiring to me. I pulled out From a Basement on the Hill, which is the last record he put out; I believe he passed away right before this came out. I think 'Coast to Coast' is one of the best opening tracks - besides 'Losing a Whole Year' by Third Eye Blind, and 'King’s Crossing', it gets me every single time. His entire catalogue, there’s something that stands out about it so much, and I don’t like singer-songwriter music that much but I can’t ever get sick of him.

I actually discovered him - this is embarrassing but whatever, I’m embarrassing - via 'Twilight', which is also on From a Basement on the Hill, was on The OC soundtrack, and I used to listen to every song that was on The OC because I think the music supervisor was one of the most legendary music supervisors of all time and she broke a lot of bands through that show. But I remember hearing 'Twilight' on it and going and exploring the rest of the catalogue and it made me want to make music again.

Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind

This is also funny because I was just saying that 'Coast to Coast' on that Elliott album is one of the best opening tracks besides 'Losing a Whole Year' which is the opening track of Third Eye Blind’s self-titled album, which I feel is an album everybody had when they were my age because they had 'Semi-Charmed Life' and 'Jumper' and 'How’s it Going to Be' which were just huge singles, and everyone owned the record but I don’t know how many people actually listened to it and I didn’t until I was in my late teens, maybe early 20s. But this is one of my favourite back-to-back records of all time and it’s what I joke my new genre is - it’s a modernized Third Eye Blind.

But this entire record, I’d skateboard to it around Boston the entire time when I was working, I worked at Harvard Square for a while and went to Berklee, and we used to cover “Losing a Whole Year” actually. Every song is so rhythmic but so emotional but it again, doesn’t sound like anything else to me, you know it’s Third Eye Blind. I’m kind of sick of the singles though, like 'How’s it Going to Be' and 'Jumper' I can’t listen to anymore, but 'London', 'Graduate' - it took me a while to graduate high school so I really connect with that one. This is very cool.

All We Know is Falling - Paramore

She just brought women into rock again. She was what, 17, when this came out? Maybe even younger? And her voice was just classically trained and she had so much control, they were doing flips over each other and it was such a young energy, it was one of those bands that looked like they were having so much fun and actually living the dream. It was a bridge between rock, pop, and emo.

She was so cool, when I was in high school I was like “I wish I was like her!” with her straight hair, bright orange, and the crazy clothes. And the new record’s fucking incredible also, After Laughter. But this one, with the red couch and everything, my mind was blown. I’d watch videos of them performing and practice flipping my guitar over, that’s what I wanted to be. Now I whisper a lot.

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it - The 1975

They don’t have the self-titled, but both albums by The 1975 are super special to me. I like it when you sleep… is something I’d want to emulate, where you take your genre to a new level but it sounds newer and sounds like you’re developing as an artist and not just doing the same thing over and over. The 1975 always develop.

The title track is the one that develops out into a huge thing, and 'Please Be Naked' - I remember where I was when I listened to this full record, and I was at my desk so it wasn’t exciting, but I remember that track being like “Woah. They’re not just a boyband, maybe they are, but they don’t sound like it”. 'Ballad of Me and My Brain' or 'Love Me', that’s such a cool '80s throwback but just sounds relevant. They’re just cool, sassy lyrics but sound exactly like what people want to hear on the radio too, they build that bridge really well. I’m really excited for the new album.

Translaticism - Death Cab for Cutie

This will probably be the coolest story by far. I heard 'The Sound of Settling' on the radio I think when I was 14, 15 years old and I went and I searched for - all I knew was (sings) “ta da, something settling” - and I went onto an iTunes chat board, because I looked up those lyrics and couldn’t find anything on lyrics.com, so I wrote out to the world hoping that someone would know what I was talking about. And someone said “I think you’re talking about 'The Sound of Settling' by Death Cab for Cutie”, so I immediately went out and bought the record and this is another record, like this, I like it when you sleep..., and Third Eye Blind are always records I’ll listen to all the way through on the road.

This record was a different sound of emo that I had never heard of before, and another OC band also. This is also just such a heartfelt record, I think it was their last independent release. His songwriting and the energy, and the ups and downs that you go through over the course of all the tracks is just something that makes me feel comfortable again; like I’m young again.

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Record Shopping with.. Pronoun @ Creep Records
Record Shopping with.. Pronoun @ Creep Records
Record Shopping with.. Pronoun @ Creep Records
Record Shopping with.. Pronoun @ Creep Records