Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Finnish quartet Delay Trees and Texas punks Fungi Girls.
Listed: Delay Trees + Fungi Girls
The august dream-pop of Finnish quartet Delay Trees is carved from the anxieties of early adulthood, frills-free sonic bombast, and a healthy helping of frosty Finnish winters. After playing their first gigs in late 2007, the band released a steady stream of music in Soft Construction EP in ‘08, a self-titled full-length in 2010, and the Before I Go EP late last year. Though they were dropped by Johanna Kustannus and their 2012 SXSW and Canadian Music Fest appearances were recently cancelled, the band has stayed the course with studio visits as they loosen up to find their feet again. Vocalist and guitarist Rami Vierula joins us for this week’s Listed feature.
1. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
Soft and beautiful, honest and melancholy. This was THE album that I listened to most when I started to write the first songs for Delay Trees back in 2006/2007. My favorite VU album.
2. Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock and Mark Hollis’ self-titled
I really can’t put my finger on why or how these albums are so amazing but they just are. The impressionistic songs and mystical lyrics just keeps me coming back. This is amazing, timeless music.
3. Low - The Curtain Hits the Cast
I guess I could name almost any album from Low as an influence but songs like "Over the Ocean," "Anon" and "Do You Know How To Waltz?" make this one somehow special.
4. Cocteau Twins
It’s the same thing as with Talk Talk, I simply don’t know what makes Cocteau Twins so incredibly good and that’s partly why I love them so. The guitars drenched in reverb and chorus plus the angelic voice of Elizabeth Fraser equal dream pop heaven.
5. Julee Cruise - Floating into the Night
One of my favorite albums of all time and a huge influence on everything I do. This is a perfect soundtrack for those late night drives back home after the show. This and silence.
6. Deerhunter - Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.
I loved Cryptograms but Microcastle totally won me over. It doesn’t feel like a perfect record but it gets stuck inside your subconsciousness like perfect records do—so I don’t know. I just really like it. Weird Era is great as well, the band version of "Calvary Scars" is one of the greatest album closers of the ‘00s.
7. David Bowie
There’s a lot of artists we disagree within the band but we all love Bowie. We adore Bowie. We’ve tried to sneak these little "Bowiesque" sounds on some of our songs. I’d love to include a piano freak-out solo on our next album as a tribute to Aladdin Sane. We’ll see who’s gonna play that though.
8. Pink Floyd
Another legendary band we all love. Personally I don’t mind their stuff after Wish You Were Here, but our bass player loves the ‘80s soft rock like crazy. But he also loves Toto and Hammond organ compilations, so...
The soundscapes of our fellow Finns are full of mystique and magic. We never get tired of Paavoharju. If we’d ever do a proper ambient album, we’d ask these guys to produce it.
10. Slowdive - Pygmalion
Pygmalion has been on constant rotation recently while making the album. The spacy sounds and slow beats simply force you to stop and listen. I’m hoping we could get the same vibe on our next album. People need more pauses and why not spend it with amazing music?!
No girls. No fungi. Just three teenage garage punks out of the hinterlands of Texas, submerging happy-go-lucky hooks under a train-station roar of feedback. There’s an unworshipful nod to Jesus & Mary Chain buried in their fuzzy clatter, as well as echoes of latter day lo-fi bands like Psychedelic Horseshit and Home Blitz. Still Single’s Mike Pace observed that in debut LP Seafaring Pyramids, “The Fungi Girls may only know three chords, but they’re the right three chords. This record brims with an amateur enthusiasm that feels legit.” Fungi Girl’s latest, Some Easy Magic, out since last year on Hozac, offers more enthusiasm, but about the same amount of chords.
1. Can - Future Days
I didn’t hear this album until this past year or so, but it has since become one of my all-time favorites. There’s not a bad song on it. Of course Can are a classic "Krautrock" band, but other than the use of the motorik beat in the song "Moonshake", this album does not really fit the label. It’s a beautiful album that sounds like nothing else I’ve ever heard before.
2. DJ Screw - All Screwed Up
DJ Screw was a Houston, Texas hip-hop producer who pioneered "chopped and screwed" music, which is basically just traditional hip-hop scratching (chopped) with the addition of the tempo of songs being slowed down (screwed). His slowing songs down, adding various synth sounds and blending songs together typically gave whatever he touched a very dark and unusually psychedelic sound to it. He has a very large discography of mixtapes and official releases, most of which are really great, but this one is one of his best and is probably his most well-known release. It includes songs from Houston legends UGK, Point Blan and 20-2-Life.
3. Lee Hazlewood - Cowboy in Sweden
Lee Hazlewood is one of my all-time favorites. He was an incredible producer, musician, lyricist and businessman and although he always seemed to fall just below the mainstream radar throughout his long career, nearly everything he did was top notch. He had many great albums, but Cowboy In Sweden rose just above all of the others and is one of my all-time favorite albums, if not my favorite. It is a really beautiful and somewhat dark album that blends country and pop, but somehow manages to withhold a very drugged out vibe to it throughout.
4. Neu! - Neu! 75
Great album from the legendary motorik group. Their first album gets most of the praise, but we all agree that Neu! 75 is where it’s at. It’s perfect highway music.
5. Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light
This is one of the best albums of the ‘00s, by far. It’s psychedelic-desert-Rhodes-soul, for lack of a better description. Hippies.
6. Canned Heat - Hallelujah
Canned Heat is somewhat hit and miss, depending on who is singing. If lead singer Bob "The Bear" Hite is singing a song of his, more often than not the songs, aren’t all that great due to the "boogie rock" type sound and his "white guy trying to sound like John Lee Hooker" vocals. On the other hand, whatever songs Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson write and sing are gold. He had a very distinct, high pitched voice that can sometimes almost sound like Skip James. You can tell he had a very deep appreciation for country blues as well as kept up with the psych sounds of the late ‘60s. This is a solid album with "Change My Ways" and "Time Was" being the choice cuts.
7. Suburban Lawns - Suburban Lawns
An absolutely flawless and underrated punk/new wave record from these L.A. weirdos that had a sound similar to the Akron, Ohio sound of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s (Devo, The Waitresses), but way better.
8. Thee Oh Sees - The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In
The three of us are continually amazed by how good Thee Oh Sees are, both live and on record. This album, in our opinion, is their best. Solid all the way through. They’re the best band of the past 10 years, without a doubt.
9. Sanford Clark - They Call Me Country
Sanford Clark was a rockabilly one hit wonder from Arizona, and also a good friend of Hazlewood’s (who produced and wrote a lot of Clark’s work). This was his first album, which was actually a collection of U.S. singles compiled together for a U.K. album. Unlike his early stuff, it is country and not rockabilly. Wonderful production, great playing from all the people who backed him up (especially the pedal steel player and Waylon Jennings on guitar) and great singing. Unfortunately, this album wasn’t the least bit successful and in my opinion is the most underrated country record of all time.
10. 13th Floor Elevators - Bull of the Woods
Bull of the Woods is the Elevators’ least popular album, which also happens to be our favorite. It is less garage than the more well known Elevators albums and more poppy, while still being just as psychedelic. We all love Roky Erickson, but we think this album actually benefited significantly from Stacy Sutherland, the guitarist, stepping up to the plate as the lead singer and writer for most of the songs. He has a deep, relaxed voice with a slight southern draw that he puts through lots of delay and reverb. Nothing’s better than songs like "Barnyard Blues" and "Rose and the Thorn."
By Dusted Magazine