5 Songs That Changed My Life w/ Remayn
Corpus Christi Carol – Jeff Buckley
This was the first song I ever heard by Jeff, and it completely blew me away. It was like hearing the answer to a question that I’d been asking myself my whole life. Since I was young my mum had listened to singers that had a good upper range (Billy Joel, The Bee Gees, Phillip Bailly) and it had always fascinated me that they could sing that high, but hearing Jeff was like finding the king.
I became obsessed with him – bought every book I could read, every album he ever released, any bootleg recording I could get hold of, I bought a guitar specifically to learn his songs, I just learnt everything I could. Not only about him but about his influences, his guitar playing, his vocal techniques…there isn’t another artist on this Earth that has influenced me more than Jeff Buckley.
Re:Stacks – Bon Iver
Back in 2009, myself and about 12 others piled into my friends’ tiny room in our student accommodation to watch the Season 4 finale of House. During a devastatingly emotional segment, this song played in the background. I tuned into it immediately as I knew I was hearing magic. I’d never heard anything like it before. The haunting guitar, the fragility of Justin Vernon’s voice, the beautiful layered choral vocals. After the programme finished, I frantically Googled who it was (no Shazam in those days!) and found Bon Iver. I listened to For Emma, Forever Ago to death and learnt what I could on the guitar. I found his song writing so captivating, and I began to write small snippets of lyrics then. Little phrases that popped into my head, things I might hear that I tweaked into rhymes. It showed me that if you auteur something, follow your own vision, it could take you far.
Only – RY X
I first heard RY X when I was at work, listening to Radio 6 and typing away. Once again, I just heard this incredible voice, and I had to stop what I was doing, sit back and soak it in. At this point I’d written and recorded my first EP and although I was very proud of it, it didn’t quite sound how I wanted it to. No-one’s fault, I just hadn’t written the songs in the type of format that would translate into what I wanted. I heard RY X and just immediately heard what I wished I’d done!
Since then, I’ve seen him live about 5 or 6 times. He’s a brilliant live act, and it’s been really interesting to see him at smaller venues with not much production value, right through to his latest gig at the Royal Albert Hall, where he had high production and just sounded massive. Good Times Gonna Come – Aqualung
This is an interesting one as it’s not really a song that I listen to that often, but it was one of the first ones that popped into my head when I decided to do this list. I think this is the song that made me realise that I could sing. I really loved the album that this was from and used to listen to it whilst I was doing my homework etc. on the computer. When I put my headphones in it made me forget other people could hear me, and I sang it loudly! There’s a fairly long note towards the end of the song so I eventually tested myself to see if I could hit it and hold it, and I did! Michigan – The Milk Carton Kids
This is the song that set me on the path that I’m currently on, life wise. I love The Milk Carton Kids music, but it was more the lyrics spoke to me in a personal way that made me make a key life decision that I’m very happy about.
At the time I heard this I had been in a relationship for nearly 5 years, and I hadn’t really wanted to be in it for about 2 years by this point, but there were several factors that were making it very difficult for me to end it. I had blocked out the feelings that the relationship wasn’t right for quite a while, and I thought my feelings had finally changed, but then they came creeping back in. A colleague recommended this song to me, and once I put it on, every lyric hit home as hard as it could.
“I know this feeling from long ago, I wondered was it gone, and now I know” – that couldn’t have spoken to me more directly if it had tried. I felt exactly like that. That feeling that had risen up in me again, telling me that things weren’t okay.
“When it hurts most, it’s the right thing” – this was the one that made me take the next step and end the relationship. It was horrible, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
About 6 weeks after that, a new girl started at work. I just knew. And I knew that I’d made the right decision at the right time, so that I could see what happened with her.
We’re now engaged and own a house. Always follow your heart.
Listen to Remayn's selections below.