If you’re new, you may not know so I’ll link it HERE, but I’m actually working on music. I’m mostly just done with lyrics and some piano stuff, and I’m still learning guitar for it, so it’s gonna be a long time coming, but I am working on it. Progress is (slowly) happening, I have just finished my A Level exams so I’m trying to sort my head (and life) out a little, but I was thinking about the inevitable question that people who make music get asked: who has musically inspired you? So, I thought I’d be one step ahead, and tell you who inspires me. What influences I draw upon. We all know I’m a big fan of old man rock, but my voice? Sadly, not at all like that. So although I’m a fan, I can’t say it directly influences me or the sound I’m going for.
But I digress: here are the artists that inspire and influence me, and a song will be linked by each artist. Enjoy 🙂
- Band/ Artist: Lana Del Rey
Chosen Song: Serial Killer
Can we all just admit that she is one of the best artists out there at the moment? I love her voice, and her range is impeccable: it can be so low and sultry, but some of the notes she hits with such ease is just amazing. I picked Serial Killer because it’s straight up about sex and female sexuality (f you haven’t listened to it, go do to immediately) but I feel empowered when I listen to it. It’s the kind of song where I want to go put on a tight black dress and seduce someone. There’s a song I have written which I’m not 100% if I will record, because as I was writing it, all I could imagine was her singing it, and there are elements of it which reminded me of Serial Killer. I don’t think I could record it and be happy with it; in my head, it belongs to her. But she does have an incredible impact on my writing style and some of the themes I do have going on: I think she’s easily one of my all time favourite artists.
- Band/ Artist: The 1975
Chosen Song: Somebody Else (but fallingforyou is also recommended)
I’m a pretty big fan of The 1975, but especially their more calming, kind of sadder stuff. I relate to Somebody Else on many levels for many reasons, and the story it kind of tells will always get to me. The beat behind it means that despite the lyrics, I still find it had to not move and dance to it a little bit. Whereas fallingforyou instantly puts me in a more calming state of mind, and it is slower paced, but it is a masterpiece. I can’t actually describe it or the effect it has on me: it takes me to another place, I guess.
- Band/ Artist: Moose Blood
Chosen Song: Cherry
Moose Blood are one of the most underrated bands I have ever heard. They should be a lot more well known than they are, because every song is relaxing as hell, and their happier stuff can instantly lift my mood. Though, Cherry is 100% my favourite Moose Blood song. It’s sad, it’s relaxing, and it’s about a love that slipped through your fingers, and how sweet the memories actually are when you’re looking back on them. It’s not a long song, but it’s a standout song, and easily one of the most beautiful of their which I have heard.
- Band/ Artist: Halsey
Chosen Song: Strange Love (And Sorry)
I’m just a little in love with the woman in all honesty. But music wise, her lyrics are what inspires me the most about her: she can convey so many differing feelings and emotions within one song and can take you away. The amount of times I’ve zoned out listening to her because she’s taken me away, or I’ve felt as if she’s soundtracking my mood is off the scale. Then there’s her voice: she’s got a voice that is gentle and soft, but there’s power within it. I used to just want a bog belting voice, but hearing her have both and it sound so controlled and so beautiful made me okay with not having a big voice. Strange Love is the song I picked out of all of them because she sounds strangely innocent despite some of the lyrics in the song (it opens with “Everybody wants to know/ If we fucked down the bathroom sink”). I think it is probably my favourite Halsey song, as it shows a woman in a relationship in the public eye, people seemingly disapproving but wanting to know, and she isn’t going to tell them, despite the fact she is questioning it and her decision.
Then, there’s Sorry: a song from her new album which completely relies upon her voice, and is probably one of my new all time favourite songs. It’s beautiful, heartfelt, and I can relate. The song is about the insecurities that people can have when believing that people could have feelings or be in love with someone, and how they don’t understand how people could feel that way. It’s an incredibly touching, emotional song, her her voice is impeccable. I could write an essay on her, but I think I’ll stop now.
- Band/ Artist: Hozier
Chosen Song: Cherry Wine (But the whole of his album is glorious, if you disagree you can fight me immediately)
Hozier is probably the most underrated artist. The whole of his self titled album was beautiful start to finish, and it leaves me completely stunned every time I listen to it. Lyrically, he inspires me whenever I hear him: throughout all of the album, he writes about real things and takes you away. The standout song for me in that aspect is Cherry Wine: a song about a female abuser, the video showing a male abuser. It shows that it’s not just men, but both men and women, while he also tells how it feels to be in a relationship like that, where eventually it’s what you’re used to, so it feels right, even though it’s far from it. The soft tone of his voice in the song makes it feel more vulnerable, and you feel real sympathy and connect with him whether you have been in the position or not. There’s not a bad thing I can say about him as a musician and from what I know as a person. I know that his music makes me feel, and how he writes about love, abuse, growing up and mental illness with such emotion and so delicately is what makes him probably one of my all time favourite artists, and I’d say that he’s one of the best artists in the last decade. If you can’t at least appreciate his lyrics, I can’t associate with you: it has to be admitted that he’s a lyrical genius.
- Band/ Artist: Keaton Henson
Chosen Song: You (Second up though is Small Hands)
He’s in the same kind of bracket as Hozier: he’s completely underrated, and deserves more attention and more recognition. The song You is about being alone, even in a relationship, and the death of a lover, the persona talking about his love for the person (‘If you must die sweetheart, die knowing your life was my life’s best part‘). To me, the lyrics he writes come from the soul: there’s nothing fake and he’s not an artist trying to be relatable and trying too hard. He’s an artist who is sharing parts of his story, and telling a story. With Small Hands, he is talking about a break up and how he misses the person, it surprisingly more upbeat to his other songs despite the meaning behind the song. The message that I gather from it is that he blames himself for the breakup (‘I hope for your life, you forget about mine’) which is rare: how many songs in the charts do you hear where somebody is blaming themselves for the breakup? He’s a beautiful artist and easily one of the ones who inspires me the most.
- Band/ Artist: SYML
Chosen Song: Where’s My Love? (Acoustic)
I love the delicate sound that he has (SYML is one person, which takes this to another level). Again, I’ll say that lyrically he is flawless: the emotive, raw lyrics create pictures and take you to different places. The vocals aren’t demanding, instead soft, and you don’t just hear them, you feel them in your heart and your gut, the elements of the gentle guitar and soft synth elements are what brings it all together. I hope to achieve a more gentle tone and feeling to my own music, and have the effect on other that this song (and artist) have upon me.
- Band/ Artist: Ed Sheeran
Chosen Song: Shape of You (second choice is Bloodstream)
So many good things have been said about him that I can’t say anything new, really. But what I can say is that I am never not amazed at the stories he is able to tell in his songs, and how well crafted and well written they are. What does attract me to these two songs mostly is the rhythm behind it though: both very different from each other, but both being what makes the song. Take the beat away from Bloodstream, and will it be as catchy and will it be as thought prokoving, as I find it to be? While he is a great lyricist, he’s an overall great musician: small, minor details are paid attention to so not just a song is made, but things change and you notice more with each listen. Also, it’s undeniable how much of and impact Shape of You has had this year, can you go anywhere still without hearing it at least twice? I think the fuck not. Say what you want about him, but he is a great musician in his own right.
- Band/ Artist: Hey Violet
Song: Guys My Age/ O.D.D
If you follow me on Instagram (if not, you should, I’m close to 1000 and post pretty regularly), you’ll see I actually recently posted about Hey Violet and how I was listening to Guys My Age on repeat, and an update on that: I still am. I find a lot of people complaining about them and I honestly don’t get it; they are a great band. These two songs are off the same album (which is a great album) but they attract me because of how relaxed sounding they are, and how simplistic they are. You’ll notice I quite often go for sadder songs/ love songs, and these two kind of break the pattern slightly. Guys My Age, while about love in an aspect, is about how older men are usually better and how immature some boys are, and I like the strength in the song almost; women being open about sexuality is a taboo, and in this song, they are talking about female sexuality. O.D.D on the other hand is about how people are unique and different, and I also love that theme. What made me add these two songs to the list was the fact that when you listen to them, they are simplistic sounding, but you connect and can relate to the lyrics: something which any song writer aims to achieve.
On a different note, I just wanna say that I do actually play bass, and there are a lot of women who inspired me to do that, so I wanted to have a mini list of those too; bass is something not many women play, so when I find out about someone who does, I’m just kinda like ‘Bitch me too!’ and I feel a sort of pride.
- Lyn-Z Way (Mindless Self Indulgence)
- Kim Deal (Pixies)
- Kim Shattuk (Pixies)
- Paz Lenchantin (Pixies)
- Jackie Fox (The Runaways)
- Victory Tischler-Blue (The Runaways)
When I started playing bass at 14, those were the women who first inspired me. Yes, there are a lot of men who also inspired me, but I wanted to list the women who made me think ‘Okay, so it’s not just men?’ because when you look at bands, often it is the men who play bass, even with women in the group. And I like to think that I’m one of those women, even if I don’t play too much any more.
So, there are a few as far as my sound I aim for goes. But, I have got more: for example, my Pops (though I’ll never directly tell him) is excellent, and growing up with him playing music and having albums out has inspired me and had a massive influence upon me. On a similar note, the success my brother has had (especially in recent months) has given me a kick up the arse. Both have shown me the road to being successful and the struggles artists do go through to get noticed, as well as teaching me how to handle criticism. From watching people I know go through it and seeing what goes on behind the glamour, it does open my eyes and does have an influence on me
Music taste wise, again, my Pops has given me parts of his taste in music, but a lot of it has also come form my mum, who used to play me The Pixies while I was still in the womb so I’d get my daily movements. With a house full of Cure fans, they also gave me a band which always reminded me of home and is comforting in a way. Old friends, who I may not speak to all of them anymore, got me into some great bands (Mayday Parade, A Day to Remember and a lot more). Though not influencing the sound I aim for, they all have helped shape me into the musician I am and hope to be. Not all influences are things you mimic: some are what just shape you.
I hope that answered some questions and gave you an idea of what to listen out for. Things are slowly happening and developing: I hope you all enjoy the journey as much as I am.
Stay safe and stay happy, Angels ❤