(Photo by Christoph Carr)
New York City duo ESSi, made up of Jessica Ackerley (vocals, guitar) and Rick Daniel (drums, electronics) are set to release their album Vital Creatures on October 4th via Ramp Local. Our own David Jackson recently reviewed this incredible album and you can read that review here.
We caught up with the band and in our quest to find out more about them we asked, “What three albums have influenced you and your music?”. The band replied with their three most excellent choices below.
Pre-order the album here: https://essi.bandcamp.com/album/vital-creatures
Liars – Drum’s Not Dead
This album has a great sense of pace from beginning to end, and we took inspiration from in it terms of how we laid out the songs and track order on our own album. There are also a ton of mixing nuances, that every time I listen, there’s is some sound that comes through — either from a left headphone, or a right, or buried underneath a main instrument — and it shines through like a hidden gem that I missed, even after many, many listens. We were super lucky to work with Jonathan Schenke as an engineer on this record, who did an excellent job of pulling the electronic elements of our sound and put these “hidden gems” weaving in and out of the mix on our own album.
Sightings – City of Straw
This band was big in Brooklyn at the height of the DIY scene in the mid 2000’s. Sadly our band is coming up on the tail end of lots of great venues closing, such as The Glove, Secret Project Robot, Silent Barn. But in its heyday, bands like Sightings did amazing work within noise context coupled with live instruments. This album is a testament to it, as well as a big inspiration for us.
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
This is an avant-pop album, and even though we are a noisey band that draws from rock elements, this album was a seed of inspiration with the instrumental tracks on our record.Vital Creatures is a 14 track album, but there are 4 instrumental interludes that thread the songs together, and Blood Bitch was the source for that. There are extended sections of instrumental music the Hval excellently executes, while walking that fine balance between ambience and engagement. Because our songs are short in length, we used these instrumental interludes as palate refreshers. If you ever have a chance to see us live, our set runs the same way with knotting songs together between interludes.