Top 5 Recent Records

Top 5 Recent Records

As I gear up for the release of my own album Dancers In The Mansion in a few weeks, folks have been asking me about music that inspires me. So I have picked the Top 5 Records that I’ve been listening to lately that I enjoy and find inspiring in different ways. Since I’m a vinyl junkie, I only picked albums that I actually own and listen to on vinyl.

Here they are in no particular order:

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The Neon Demon SoundtrackCliff Martinez

I’m a big fan of Cliff Martinez’s work, in general. The stuff he’s done recently for Nicolas Winding Refn’s films have been especially outstanding. (In addition to The Neon Demon, he did Drive and Only God Forgives.)  This record has been in constant rotation at the house. (In fact we had it cranked on set while shooting a music video last week for my song “Leavin’ By Sundown”.)

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Take Me To The Alley Gregory Porter

I absolutely love Gregory’s 2013 record Liquid Spirit and his new release does not disappoint. The songwriting, vocals, and musical arrangements are impeccable. The title track “Take Me To The Alley” is beautiful. My girlfriend and I had front row seats to see him perform here in Nashville in June. (Our second time seeing him perform.) In a live setting, he takes the songs to a whole new level live and his band is truly amazing. (His drummer Emanuel Harrold is especially stunning!)

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Hopelessness Anohni

This is Anohni’s first solo release. She was previously known for her work in Antony and the Johnsons. I was a huge fan of the Antony and the Johnsons records. She changes up her style a bit on this new project, but it’s just as awesome. (It’s less “chamber pop” and more electronic.) Dark lyricism and haunting vocals. Killer lines like: “Explode my crystal guts / Lay my purple on the grass.”

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Exodus Of VenusElizabeth Cook

I’m really digging the latest release from fellow East Nashville resident Elizabeth Cook. This record and Sturgill Simpson’s latest release, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, are the freshest Americana records I’ve heard in some time. Each song has its own sonic personality so the record is exciting to listen to. There are shades of country, blues, and psychedelica with some Stevie Nicks vibe sprinkled in. The lyrics are dark and original. Most importantly the songs just groove. (Can’t help but bob your head to “Evacuation”.)

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The Last Of Us Soundtrack Gustavo Santaolalla

I was turned on to the work of Gustavo Santaolalla when I picked up the soundtrack to the film Biutiful. I was immediately entranced and wanted to find out what else he had done. Then I found about the work he did for the video game The Last Of Us from Naughty Dog. I have never played the game and don’t know anything about it, but I love the soundtrack. It’s perfect when I need to relax. I put this record on the turntable, pour myself a stiff drink, kick back and chill. (I was lucky enough to get my hands on the gorgeous limited release 4 LP box set released by Mondo.)