5 Songs I Love w/ Mark Duggan
Following the release of Mark Duggan's new single 'Somewhere To Land', we caught up with the emerging indie rock artist to find out more about the songs he loves and why. Check out his selection and if you're a fan you'll be sure to love his nostalgic and breezy new track which you can stream below.
1. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town
I love everything about this song and wish I knew how to do it justice writing about it. The sound of the band on the G to C vamp is so cinematic, the way it explodes after every verse is like going from black and white to colour, the lyrics are perfectly crafted and the vocals are the kind of thing I want to be whenever I pick up a guitar. That final set of lyrics is incredibly life affirming in its defiance and resilience that there's almost a forward drive to it. There's something relentless in it that makes you believe the character in the song. It's such a wonderful climax to a wonderful album and sums up its themes and emotions all in 4 and a half minutes. When I saw him live in 2016 he opened with this and it sounded like being hit by a train and I didn't even notice myself tearing up until the song ended. 2. Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
This song is so brilliant! I love the slightly sad nostalgia and uncertainty in the lyrics. It had such a gorgeous evolution from acoustic demo to finished single. The sounds still sound new to me and the clarity of each instrument in the mix is so well done. Lennon's voice is the only voice that could make me feel the way this song does. The production was a huge part of what got me into making music and the story of how they edited two completely different takes together is amazing. I know where the edit is and it still goes by without me knowing it. It's the Beatles song that means most to me because I have memories of my dad walking round the house singing the chorus and I remember how it made me feel when I finally listened to it properly years later. 3. Joni Mitchell - Hejira
This song is on my favourite Joni Mitchell album so I could've really picked any song from it but this one is the one that's been stuck in my head the last few weeks. It sounds as wide open as the roads that get mentioned in a lot of the album's lyrics. The way the bass weaves around everything and with the guitar the song's feeling is just effortless. I don't know if it's the tuning she uses but Joni playing guitar always sounds like hearing it for the first time again. She has the most wonderfully engaging voice that just makes you want to listen to it for hours. Lyrically this is one of my favourites by her. The repeat of the opening four lines at the end is brilliant as it gently fades away. 4. Bob Dylan - Most of the Time
Where to start with this one, that bass hook could lift the most shattered heart out of despair. The song fights for the place of my favourite Dylan song and it deserves it with a groove that just keeps you pulsing along under one of my favourite sets of lyrics ever. That return to the title at the end of every verse is such a great way to get across the attempt to walk again and keep falling down after a heartbreak. The idea of just about getting over someone but giving into that emotion every now and then is so well done and kept simple enough that it is never bloated. It's a precise incision into the heart of the listener with every use of "most of the time".Daniel Lanois' production has such a wide atmosphere and the instrumentation just surrounds you. Sometimes I watch High Fidelity just to hear this song. Big Thief - Certainty
I only found out about Big Thief last year when their most recent album came out and I'm so glad I did. This song and the album it's on are my favourite things that I listened to last year. Every sound on this track sounds perfect from the gentle guitar at the start to the way the harmonies join Adrianne Lenker at various points. There's something enchanting about the way it ebbs and flows that hooks me in. "You lay beside me sleeping on a plane in the future" always makes me well up and the chords seem to give the song this up and down momentum that matches the lyrical use of "high" and "low" perfectly. The song has an identity from the first note and it keeps you embraced in that mood until the final held note drifts off.
Listen to 'Somewhere To Land' below: