Music is a big part of not just my life, but that of billions of people around the globe. As a musician,there are so many pieces I have felt inspired by and will cherish forever, here are a few.
Cloudbusting – Kate Bush
As a child I was very into my strings, and as both my parents were heavily into the 80s scene, Kate Bush’s use of string sounds really stuck with me. The storytelling used within Cloudbusting captivated me and ever since then i’ve been enamored with everything Kate Bush. Lyrically, Kate’s phrasing has always inspired me as a musician, and I consider her one of my favourite artists.
La Ritournelle – Sebastien Tellier
One of the most beautiful songs I think i’ve ever heard, in a sense it is somewhat simple but effective. The lyrics are soft and calming, evoking a feeling of warmth promoting the musical theme of love. The combination of a jazzy uptempo beat and strong piano chords form something spectacular, allowing the song to continue for 7 minutes and 34 seconds of pure gold.
Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem
Again another mostly simple song with a wonderfully complex beat, the introduction of LCD Soundsystem into my life also marked the entrance of electronic dance music. Singer James Murphy paints a picture of his life in a monotonous way, suggesting almost boredom with his life and the friends that are ‘mean’, however at 3:05, the song changes completely, something that taught me that music should develop throughout a song rather than just through songs on an album.
Just The Same But Brand New – St. Vincent
I’d say this was one of the defining songs of my teenage years, identifying with the idea of being just the same but brand new as I grew as a person. Annie Clark is probably the most inspirational artist I have listened to as a musician. The idea of Annie, a strong talented woman breaking the gender stereotypes that surrounded me by playing an instrument dominated by men. Her use of the electric guitar inspired me to play my own electric guitar apologetically, applying effects much like Annie herself to create a distorted sound, something that I’ve been told is not soft and ladylike.
Silver Springs – Fleetwood Mac
A song that was originally left off Rumours, Silver springs is what I would consider to be Stevie Nicks best work. Beautifully constructed and performed, the way you can hear the desperation in Stevie’s vocals are amazing. A song written about fellow bandmate Lindsay Buckingham, the harmonies between them on the vocals at the end are haunting and reminded me just how powerful feeling can be captured in a song.
Saint Claude – Christine and the Queens
As a big fan of synthpop I was thrilled with Chaleur Humaine came out, and I wasn’t disappointed. Saint Claude is a beautiful song, with the lyric ‘but if you say just one word i’ll stay with you’ capturing my heart. The musical phrasing of the chorus is perfect and soft, highlighting Heloise’s talent as a musician.
A Different Corner – George Michael
A heartbreaking song from 1986, George sings about how fate could have led to them never meeting if he had simply turned a different corner. George questions whether he would be less hurt and scared by love had they never have met, a question he wouldn’t have the answer to. The pain demonstrated by George’s vocals can be felt, evoking a sadness in you for him.
Erase/Rewind – The Cardigans
I’d happily rank this as potentially my favourite song ever, up there with their other hit Live and Learn. I think Nina Persson’s songwriting is commendable generally, however how she copes with the idea of bottling up feelings and changing her mind gets me in this song. The echoes behind her vocals used to reiterate her points on words such as ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are just part of the reason I love it.