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  • Writer's pictureAmi Row

5 Songs I Love w/ DiLisio

Following the recent release of Pittsburgh artist DiLisio's (Mark Jeffries) track 'Has Anyone Seen Yori Dean?' we caught up with Mark to find out more about the musical inspirations that lead to the genre-bending sounds of DiLisio.

1) Wilderado - You Don't Love Me

It's so unfair how good this song is. I mean, just listen to it. Listen again. The swelling guitars; the huge drums; the soaring vocals; that feeling of getting swept up into something so much bigger than yourself. It's MASSIVE. When my drummer/good pal Garrett sent me this song for the first time, I'll never forget my gut reaction: that I vow to never listen to it ever again because I'm so jealous I didn't write it. Well, I was wrong. I'll be listening again and again for a very long time. And if I can figure out a way to replicate how this song makes me feel in one of my own, then I can die happy.

2) Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy

Has there ever been written a more badass song that features only one chord? Mannish Boy is relentless. The way that Muddy tells a grimy story around that one blues riff, with so much anger and nuance and passion, with that call-and-response vocal style, is just so punk rock to me. It's no wonder there's about a million covers of this song in every high-end-clothing-line commercial. It's just so damn sexy. Blues music like this will always be my first love, and I have a feeling that no matter how experimental I'll get with my future songs, the blues will always be infused in them somehow.

3) Phoebe Bridgers - Savior Complex

"Phoebe" - as my wife and I affectionately like to call her, 'cause we tight like that - knows exactly what she's doing. You press play to this song, and she immediately ropes you in with her sweet, innocent-sounding voice. But you keep listening, and she'll hit you over the head with a line that's equal parts sad and hilarious. How in the hell does she make "having a pissing contest" with her boyfriend sound so heartbreaking? I'm not worthy. The sincerity in her storytelling, combined with an absolute gold mine of one-liners throughout her work, is why Phoebe is my favorite lyricist out there.

4) Mac Miller - Small Worlds

Did you know that Mac Miller played guitar? Like, really well? I had NO idea. In fact, I listened to very little of his stuff before he died, which I deeply regret now. More on that later...but anyways, Mac's guitar! That jazz-style you hear, chock full of sweet licks and major seventh chords, is all over his final two albums Swimming and Circles. What a departure from his start as a throwback Pittsburgh rapper, and what growth as a musician up until the end of his way-too-short life. Like when most pop stars die, I'm getting worried that people are starting to forget how brilliant Mac Miller was. But I have not, and as a Pittsburgh-based artist myself, I won't let people forget that easily.

5) Bon Iver - iMi

There's no way I would have come out on the other end of COVID with as much burning zeal for music were it not for Justin Vernon. Amazingly I discovered my love for Bon Iver in reverse, starting with Vernon's rock 'n roll side project The Shouting Matches, working my way up to art-pop fling Big Red Machine, and finally his calling card act. And this process just so happened to begin in the early days of lockdown. I can't tell you how many lonely quarantine walks I took around my neighborhood, his music repeating over and over again in my airpods. None more so than iMi: a song that, structurally, makes very little sense, but gives me chills and lifts my spirit in a way I can't describe. What I love most about Vernon (besides that bonkers voice) is that he's always changing, yet never forgets who he is. Every Bon Iver album sounds completely different, from indie folk to electropop, yet you can randomly select any one of his songs for a casual fan to listen to, and they'll most likely say, "Yep, that's a Bon Iver song." I can only dream to reach that level of musical integrity someday.

Don't forget to check out DiLisio's new single 'Has Anyone Seen Yori Dean?'

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