Top 10 Albums With Sidonie

>> Musician, drummer and student, Sidonie Hand-Halford from The Orielles has put together something a lil special for you lovely folk! Today, Sidonie is talking about her 10 favourite albums that have inspired her musically and that she just can't get enough of...

- The Damned – Damned Damned Damned (1977) -

Although my favourite Damned track (smash it up) doesn’t feature on the band’s debut, I’d still consider this one of my all time favourite records. For me, The Damned epitomise the 70s punk scene in England, yet the tracks still sound great today. The guitar is amphetamine-fast and the solos are outrageous, The Damned instinctively knew how to construct a thrilling punk track and the album is stuffed full of them. Even if it only had 'New Rose' on it, it would be still be a classic album, but there are plenty more thrilling high points in a non-stop assault that makes the record one of the greats.

Fave Tracks:
- Neat, Neat, Neat
- New Rose

- Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (2000) -

I’m massively inspired by YLT and everything they release is golden, but this album in particular is one of my personal favourites. It’s beautiful, dreamy and weird and the intimate lyrics sit perfectly over the soft percussion and whispery guitars. I love the cover as well, at first glance it seems simple, but it depicts some sort of alien abduction, which is cool, and it anchors the atmospheric music perfectly. A good record to listen to when you’re lying on your bed thinking about boyz hehe.

Fave Tracks:
- You Can Have It All
- Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House

- Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966) -

This is everyone’s favourite album, right? Pet Sounds is possibly the first album that I enjoyed in its entirety and I have very fond memories of driving through Yorkshire on a sunny day with my family, Pet Sounds on the tape deck, trying  (and failing) to nail the harmonies in the back with my sister. This album can make me smile and cry simultaneously, combining themes of frustrated adolescence, anxiety and heartbreak into a perfectly crafted concept album. I also recently watched Love & Mercy, the film about Brian Wilson’s life, which made me love the album ten times more.  

Fave Tracks:
- Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
- I Know There’s An Answer

- Sonny Smith – Sees All, Knows All (2016) -

We listened to this album constantly whilst I was driving us around the UK on our first proper tour; it kept me sane whilst Hen & Ez were sleeping in the back. It’s a monologue comprised of 6 chapters about love, sex, drugs, hallucinations, spaceships and San Francisco street life. It’s cool because I seem to gain a different interpretation on every listen. The music behind the narrative is also really tight!

Fave Tracks:
- Chapter 4: Unbearable Confession
- Chapter 6: Y.C Wong Kung Fu Academy

- Carole King – Tapestry (1971) -

‘It’s Too Late’ was my first introduction to Carole King and I fell in love instantly, such a beautiful song and such a beautiful album that should be in everyone’s collection! The whole record makes me wish that I could play piano, it sounds both elegant and aggressive. The cover is real nice too, cute cats.
Fave Tracks:
- I Feel The Earth Move
- It’s Too Late

- Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime (1984) -

It’s funny how the cover depicts a kind of American Dream-like photo, yet the songs couldn’t be further away, coming from the early 80s when hardcore punk was in it’s inaugural years. It’s also great how there’s not one song on the album longer than about 2:30. Minutemen really knew how to express themselves without having to be super loud or aggressive; instead, they combined syncopated drumming with a slightly fractured blend of jazz & funk.

Fave Tracks:
- Viet Nam
- #1 Hit Song    

- ESG – Come Away With ESG (1983) -

Shout out to Jez Kerr from A Certain Ratio for getting me into these! ESG combine post-punk, disco and funk and are basically a combination of all of my favourite bands, which is why I love them so much. I love the simplicity, yet highly danceable quality of the drums, which sit perfectly with the funky bass lines. The band developed on a sound that was unique to them and therefore went on to influence many hip-hop and dance records.

Fave Tracks:
- Dance
- My Love For You  

- The Pastels – Truckload of Trouble (1993) -

Truckload of Trouble is a compilation album, comprising of previous releases as well as a cover of Daniel Johnston’s ‘Speeding Motorcycle’ and is definitely a good introduction to the band if you’ve not listened to them before. The vocals are super dreamy yet moody and they remind me of the awkward teenage angst we all experienced (or maybe just me). The songs all have an almost care-free vibe about them which is really refreshing.  

Fave Tracks:
- Nothing to Be Done
- Thank You For Being You

- Pixies – Doolittle (1989) -

This record is definitely a massive inspiration for me as a musician; the way it plays with dynamics is definitely something we have tried to replicate in our songwriting. The album deals with themes of surrealism and religion as well as film – it references Luis Bunuel’s 1929 short ‘Un Chien Andalou’- making it a melting pot of cultural references and weirdness. If Doolittle was released today it would still be crowned a masterpiece. Even though it’s now twenty-five years young it sounds as contemporary, yet out of time as ever.

Fave Tracks:
- Wave of Mutilation
- Hey

- Steely Dan – Aja (1977) -

This was the first Steely album I listened to and has probably remained my favourite, though boy, do they have a lotta hot tracks!? I love the cynicism of the lyrics as well as the sophisticated jazz-rock instrumentation; AOR at it’s best! The tracks are all so elaborate, it’s something you really have to listen to. I tried to learn a Steely Dan song on guitar but it was dead hard, full of weird chords that hurt my hand...pretty fun to jam to on the tubs though!   

Fave Tracks:
- Black Cow
- Peg

By Sidonie Hand Halford
Follow Sidonie on Instagram @wusttofu and listen to her band The Orielles here!
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