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  • Alice Smith

5 Songs I Love w/ JJ Sterry

Following the release of his latest single 'Another Man', we caught up with folk singer-songwriter JJ Sterry to find out more about what influences his sound. If you enjoy JJ Sterry's picks be sure to check out 'Another Man' at the end of the article.

1. The Message - John Martyn

"It could have been a hundred songs of his, but I chose this one. It's got all the elements of what makes him so great - he can go from sweet almost whispers to a growl in an instant. Big drinker, brawler and writer of the most tender songs on the planet. A real enigma. He was the first guitar player that really blew my mind inside out- I'd never seen anyone play an acoustic like that before. Mad alternate tunings, he kind of hits the guitar, uses it as a kind of backbeat - but not in a lame loop-pedal way. He's my musical North Star."

2. Lungs - Townes Van Zandt

"I love Townes Van Zandt. I love the stumbling down a staircase rhythm on this that you can't quite sit at ease with. Under-rated in my view- perfect amount of melody and grit. He looked great too."

3. This Woman's Work - Kate Bush

"This song makes me feel something I didn't know I could feel. Obviously, her voice is beautiful but it's the words really for me, she can write a song about something so personal & potentially tragic and yet It's weirdly uplifting - power of a great artist I suppose."

4. Come Pick Me Up - John Robert/Thistle Brothers

"A more recent one from this year I think - He's a great songwriter, I'm a fan. They released this after a previous studio version and I way prefer it. Made me think about the importance of a good take, rather than super polished production. If it's a good song and the feeling in the room is there, just stick a couple mics up on it and it'll sound good."

5. Hares On The Mountain - Shirley Collins

"I'm obsessed with this right now. The song is maybe 300 years old but this is my favourite version and probably most well known. Lyrically, I think it's super powerful. Everytime I think I understand it, I have another theory about it that pops into my head. It's basically about a woman rejecting a man for fear of being 'kept', then going on to say if it were all more natural, ore spontaneous, maybe women would seek men out rather than the other way round. But then at the end it says men will only frisk and frolic around so 'I'll attend to my schooling' instead. I love it. Double entendre about shooting rabbits too. Feels ancient and modern all at the same time."

Listen to JJ Sterry 'Another Man'


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