With that monster of a show hoving in to view rapidly, June 16th & 17th, we thought it was time to get the brains behind it, Asher, Arran & the two Sams, to pick a record each that started them on this path.
Asher – Axes – self-titled
What’s even more impressive is how they produce it live, somehow more energetic and ferocious than on record. It felt as if Axes came out of the blue with their debut album, but produced a piece of work filled with passion and craft. One could loosely compare them to And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank, or even Three Trapped Tigers, but they clearly have their own unique voice: one that is exciting, uplifting and potentially life-changing.
Sam J – Delta Sleep – Twin Galaxies
There’s a tangible emotional core to the record that could so easily be lost in the hands of less assured musicians. These are complex, winding songs with an oftentimes breathless pace with which the instruments play off of one another, always interacting and intertwining to create something greater than their individual moments but never losing sight of its narrative and musical backbone. It’s an album that has really stuck with me as a personal genre favourite since its release, and one that makes me incredibly excited to see what Delta Sleep do next.
Sam F – Totorro – Home Alone
Seeing them live, Totorro play with confidence and comfort that music of this intricacy doesn’t often witness. Fun emanates from the stage, generating inescapable upbeat grooves alongside delicate, textured, emotional passages filling the room with expressive satisfaction that I could listen to all day. Their fantastic follow up album Come to Mexico follows the trend and is a worthy successor however, for me Home Alone is a perfectly packaged debut album that encompasses everything that an instrumental album needs without overstaying its welcome.
Arran – Yndi Halda – Enjoy Eternal Bliss
2016’s Under Summer was a glorious return for the band, beautiful and uplifting in equal measure, but that debut EP was a milestone moment for me and I’m sure many others around the world. It inspired me to think more outside the box with my own musical arrangements, to appreciate use of non-traditional instruments in rock music and savour the delicate moments as much as the heavy. Truly, I defy anyone to listen to it and not be moved to their very core – and really, isn’t that what music is about?