Nick Drake, Pink Moon (1972)
Jeff Buckley, Grace (1994)
As cliché as it has become to say that you’re a Buckley fan, I’ll never stop admitting it. This was one of those records I got at the perfect time in my life. His lyrics are poetry, and his melodies are undeniably brilliant. He’s also the one who indirectly taught me how to sing.
Radiohead, Kid A (2000)
I was late to jump on the Radiohead train, but when I finally got around to it, I knew that I would be on that train for the rest of my life. The first thing I noticed about this album was that it was unlike anything I had ever heard before (and most things since). It’s hypnotizing, dark, beautiful and mysterious from the first note of “Everything in its Right Place” to the very end. This is what I hear in my dreams. Literally.
Sigur Rós, Ágætis byrjun (1999)
HBO used to have a show called Reverb from 1997-2001 that would showcase bands, and that’s where I first heard Sigur Rós. It was a couple months before the movie Vanilla Sky came out and their career really started taking off in the States. Listening to Jónsi Birgisson’s guitar sounded like an arsenal attacking my ears, but in the best way possible. They were my teachers of dynamic and lush soundscapes.
Red House Painters, Songs for a Blue Guitar (1996)
Like Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, Red House Painters’ album Songs for a Blue Guitar was one of those records that was played a lot when I was alone and driving around, lost in thought. Albums like this have always been timeless and therapeutic to me. Mark Kozelek’s warm voice and beautiful melodies mixed with his fantastic song arrangements were and always will be something I enjoy. Every time I listen to this album, it’s like hearing it for the first time. That’s something I greatly admire.