Personal Life Is Out Now Via Exploding In Sound Records.
Maryland trio Two Inch Astronaut released their latest album Personal Life earlier this month and its mixture of 90s alternative with off kilter jazzy rhythms was instantly arresting. We thought it’d be interesting to grill the band and see where the album sprang from. The results were quite surprising to say the least!
Below you’ll find five albums that inspired Personal Life and the bands thoughts about each one. Have a read. Have a listen.
5. Blinker the Star – August Everywhere
We spent nearly as much time in the studio poking fun at this album as we did using it as a reference. Despite its arguably bro-y power pop overtones, there are some really stunning compositions on this album. The enormous drum sound, the way they incorporated cello, and the lush layers of vocal harmonies were definitely touch points for a few moments on our album.
4. Des Ark – Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker
On the (extremely rare) occasions when people ask me what guitarists I like or am influenced by, I generally get raised eyebrows when I say Aimee of Des Ark. Not totally sure why that is, given the totally incredible dynamic weirdo soulful guitar playing on this album. The kind of pseudo finger picking two note thing she does all over this album is something I rip off all the time. Granted, I have no idea what it is or how to actually do it. I also love how dedicated and intense this album is, there’s really not much like it if you’re in the mood to put yourself through the wringer.
3. Grass is Green – Ronson
There’s a little bias involved here since this is our bassist’s other band, but Grass is Green will always be one of my favorites. They were (and still are, though less actively) an incredibly hard working band who peaked just ahead of the PR surge that many of their slightly younger Boston contemporaries benefited from, and they never got the recognition they deserve. This record was recorded right as the band was at the height of its powers, and just feels like you’re just in the room with them watching as they run through twelve crushing, cluttered, and at times totally unfathomable jams. It not only feels like a record that was recorded live as opposed to being multi-tracked, but it has the crackling exuberance of their best live shows. That live energy is something we definitely wanted to capture on Personal Life.
2. Nina Nastasia – On Leaving
If I had to pick a favorite songwriter it’d probably be Nina Nastasia. She’s a huge influence in every category, from lyrics to melody to vocal delivery, although the listener would be forgiven for missing that. I’m not eloquent enough to really explain, but there’s a very strong and specific sense of mood in her music that is just perfect to me.
1. American Music Club – Mercury
This album had a big effect on me when I first heard it, lyrically especially. For better or worse, I’ve always been attracted to more fatalistic lyricists, and few do dour better than Mark Eitzel. Consider the line “your beauty is just a slap in the face/it’s gonna turn me into another great American zombie/soooo hungry/for you.” His kind of histrionic delivery also gives me courage to live out all my crying and wailing in front of people fantasies. It feels good, I encourage all to try.
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