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  • Kenny Sandberg

5 Songs I Love w/ James Marriott

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

Following the release of James Marriott's new single 'Grapes', we caught up with James who has given us some insight into the influences that make up his bright indie sound. If you like his choices, be sure to check out his new EP - Bitter Grapes.

1. Red Earth & Pouring Rain - Bear’s Den

The soundtrack to my first real heartbreak. Also my favourite example of lyrical painting (“I was waiting for a call, a call never came” - there’s such a beautiful pause in this line as he waits to say the second half, you actively feel him waiting for the call). Also a beautiful instrumental, I hope to write a song that evokes it at some point.

2. Can’t Handle This - Bo Burnham

A song performed in his MAKE HAPPY tour. Can’t handle this is a parody of Kanye’s live rants. It develops from menial humour about Pringles cans to a perfect commentary on the artist vs his audience. It was incredibly formative for me coming up through social media and working out that music was what I loved to do, despite my fear of change away from what I had become accustomed to in my more comedic social media presence.

3. Guns For Hands - Twenty One Pilots

It usually takes me a while to get into artists and musicians. This was the first song I’ve ever listened to which has immediately made me love the song AND the artist. The chorus is phenomenal, minimalistic but hard hitting. It made me realise that electronic feeling music could hit just as hard as rock. Also loved the lyrics in their approach to suicidal thoughts and tendencies within a fan base.

4. Daydreaming - Radiohead

My favourite example of ostinato in modern music. The piano alongside the spooky but beautiful vocal performance. The reverse effects are incredible. It manages to make me feel like I’m having a daydream and a panic attack all at once. In Rainbows is probably my favourite Radiohead album, but this is by far my favourite song from them.

5. Reptilia - The Strokes

Despite my issues with the mixing of this song this is the best indie rock song of all time. The first time I listened to it my autotune-accustomed ear completely disagreed with it. But every time I hear the first verse and prechorus I fall more and more in love with it. The perfect rock song for its time and utterly timeless as a result. I went to Primavera Sound and unfortunately they cancelled but I refuse to not see this song live in the flesh.

Stream Bitter Tongues below:


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