Neil Young, Harvest (1972)
Choosing this album was harder than I thought it’d be, since I’m truly in love with almost everything Neil’s put out. Even to this day, he’s able to experiment with his style. This album needs to be regularly spinning for any songwriter — the lyrics are heavy and inspirational.
The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966)
From a recording standpoint, this album affected the way I thought about everything. The tone and sounds are still some of the cleanest and fullest I’ve heard. The production and instrumentation is some of the most unique since the dawn of music. To create something this great back in the ’60s only makes me wonder how people can move it to the next level nowadays with technology.
Sigur Rós, Takk … (2005)
My dear friend and drummer, Preston Greer, introduced me to this band during my high school years. I’d spend hours dissecting it, closing my eyes, listening in a dark room, field or mountain landscape. It changed my perspective on how music can achieve fullness without using traditional instruments, and still be rich in emotion. It will always be one of the top spiritual and thought-provoking records in almost any situation.
My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves (2003)
A band that got me back into real rock ’n’ roll while holding onto the roots of traditional folk music. I have to thank my father for showing me this band at a critical point in my teenage years. This record isn’t “just another album” to me, but the best way to sum up everything My Morning Jacket can stand for. An incredible soundscape, all recorded in a corn silo.
Read a review of Horse Thief’s debut album, Grow Deep, Grow Wild.