Releasing one of the year’s most exciting debuts, Londoners Chapel Club have burst on to the scene with their dark and atmospheric sound. They chose their five favourite albums for us, and told us why they were so great:
Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted
Everything about this record screams (or probably mumbles) SLACKER. It just encapsulates that whole ‘I don’t give a fuck, I don’t wanna go to school, I don’t wanna work’ attitude which was particularly poignant to me when I first heard it – and actually still is a bit to this day. There’s nothing fake on this record; the playing is kind of bad and out of time, the singer can’t really sing, the drummer can’t drum and so on, but despite all that it’s still a work of total fucking genius! The melodies are super-strong and there’s just a real sense of a band making music just because they love it and it’s what they’re feeling at the time.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
At a time when a lot of ‘lighter’ guitar music was coming out of the UK, this record came along and quite literally blew me away. From Nick Zinner’s immense guitar sound, to Brian Chase’s crazy syncopated jazz drumming style, to Karen O’s out of control squall, this is a just a totally unique and brilliant record that perfectly captured a moment in music It’s one of those records that makes you want to be in a band in the first place; it’s exciting, it’s dangerous, and it’s totally fucking awesome.
Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night
Most of my favourite albums are ones where you feel like you’re in the room with the band (which is actually a really difficult thing to capture) and Tonight’s the Night does this better than any other. Songs like ‘Borrowed Tune’ make you feel like you’re sitting there with Neil in his darkened basement on a huge cocaine comedown (“I’m singing this borrowed tune/I took from the Rolling Stones/Alone in this empty room/Too Wasted to write my own”) and generally the mood of the song is so intense that it sends shivers through most people who hear it. This record, which is part of “the Ditch Trilogy”, was made when Neil was in a particularly dark place, but despite that there’s something hugely optimistic and totally exciting about this record.
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for my Halo
This has been my tour bus headphone listening pretty much non-stop for the past three months. It’s produced by Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr knob-twiddler John Agnello, and is a lo-fi masterpiece. The songwriting is truly unique in that he just sings words about everyday life in this unique lazy drawl – yet people are still comparing him to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. To me he’s much more alternative than the aforementioned though. I think he’ll probably go on to be thought of in such high regards as J Masics and Thurston Moore in time.
Tim Buckley – Peel Sessions
Tim Buckley has this incredible, unearthly, four-octave voice which is like nothing you’ve ever heard. Before he died from a heroin overdose at twenty seven, he released nine mostly-brilliant studio albums, but it was this live recording for John Peel that I first heard, and it still blows my mind every time I listen to it. I guess you could describe it as folk-rock, but there’s something about his voice that makes it almost unclassifiable. This particular record is so soaked with emotion and spontaneity, both in the playing and his voice, that it still remains one of my most listened to albums fifteen years since I first discovered it.
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