The Cure – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
It’s extremely hard to choose a favourite from The Cure, but I’m going to go with this one because it’s the first record I ever heard by them, and it is a real mix of so many things I love about their music. This record has so many light and dark moments, it shows a real spectrum of what The Cure can be. I think ‘Catch’ is one of the most beautiful love songs ever, and ‘Just Like Heaven’ is an obvious classic that I am constantly and unconsciously ripping off in some way when I write.
I always used to put ‘Hot Hot Hot’ on with friends and it would often confuse them that it was the same band that wrote ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ or ‘Friday I’m In Love’. I loved it a lot for that reason. That song, along with ‘Why Can’t I Be You?’ and the accompanying music videos (minus the unfortunate black-face), showed me a lot of personality from a band I didn’t previously know, and taught me that music doesn’t have to be so serious all the time.
Pale Saints – The Comforts Of Madness
Probably one of the most underrated bands and records ever, and a band I would fly anywhere to see a reunion of if it ever happened. When I start liking a band I find myself learning everything I can about them and how the record was made, and with Pale Saints I find they are a little bit more mysterious than most. I think that really fuels my obsession with them.
One of my favourite things about Pale Saints (and this record) is the drumming that is always complimenting the guitar and vocal melodies, and which I find incredibly hooky in itself. ‘Language Of Flowers’ would have to be one of my favourite songs ever.
The Horrors – Primary Colours
I think this is the only record on this list that wasn’t released before I was born. It may not be as old, but to me it feels like a classic. The Horrors were a gateway band to so many artists new and old for me, and this record really encapsulates and mixes all my love of shoegaze, electronic and post-punk perfectly together.
So much of the guitar on this record is as innovative and brilliant to me as bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, and influenced me further to experiment with guitars, using them to make sounds you would usually create on synthesisers or other instruments. I think ‘Mirror’s Image’ is one of the most perfect album openings I’ve ever heard too.
Primal Scream – Screamadelica
I’d never really been into dance music growing up and never thought much about making it. This record changed a lot of that for me and sent me on a huge Madchester bender for a few years making and playing music. It also spurred a real love in me for gospel music, and led me to ‘Like A Ship’ by Pastor TL Barrett, which is another favourite record of mine.
At the height of my obsession I ended up persuading a very confused local Christian gospel choir to record backup vocals for a song of mine in a small smelly rehearsal room in Brisbane. There is so much genius to this album, and if I had a time machine, one of my first stops would probably be to a Primal Scream gig at the height of its release, just so I could experience the energy and culture that surrounded it at the time firsthand.
David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
I didn’t properly get into Bowie until my late teens, but he became one of the most important artists to me very quickly when I first moved to Brisbane and a lot was changing in my life. I would have this record on repeat constantly as I drove around singing every word. I actually remember one time having to pull over suddenly after I hurt my throat singing ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide’ too hard and had a coughing fit on the side of the road.
I’ve probably done some serious vocal damage singing ‘Five Years’ as I drove around also. I think it’s one of the most flawless records ever made and seeing this live for myself with The Spiders From Mars in the ’70s would have to be another compulsory stop in my imaginary time machine.