With the release of his debut album, Running With the Outliers, today, we asked Gozer Goodspeed about his musical influences for the album. As always, he went above and beyond and has given us Six Songs that directly influenced Running with the Outliers...
Thanks a lot to AlbieMedia for agreeing to let me inflict my musical taste on you, their dear readers!
I had a lot on my mind going into the writing and recording of Running with the Outliers, and (as usual) I was constantly listening to an ever-changing playlist during the period I was writing. But once it was written and the album was about to be recorded, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted the individual songs to sound. Being the kind of person who is particularly obsessed with guitar and vocal tone (don’t get me started, should you see me at a party) I naturally went looking for songs in my music collection to use as a reference and an influence in the studio.
So here are some of the songs that, consciously and probably unconsciously, directly influenced either the songwriting or the actual sound of Running with the Outliers. They were used as reference points for me, and in conversation with my very talented producer Chris Love. It’s Chris who ultimately deserves all the credit for the final sound of the album – his simultaneous attention to both the fine detail and the big picture is an incredible thing to witness.
SWAY – ROLLING STONES
I’m a huge Stones fan, and the entirety of Sticky Fingers is my probably my favourite Stones album (depending on what day you ask me). I could have picked any track from the record to include on this list, because I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t play something from this album. This is my go-to record for how guitars ‘should’ sound. Simply one of the finest records ever made.
CAN’T FIND MY WAY HOME – BLIND FAITH
OK, you’re going to have to get past the designed-to-shock 1960s topless girl artwork when you click the YouTube link, but this song is an all-timer. Plus, the guitars sound beautiful. It’s an example of exquisite songwriting that calls to all of us who’ve found ourselves lost and confused after a heavy night out / a bad time. One of the most played songs in my music library, this song snuck inside my mind a few years ago and never left.
NICK DRAKE – FLY
Another of my all time favourites, this is a song that stops me dead in my tracks whenever it comes on, and I instantly forget whatever I was doing and can’t help getting completely, utterly absorbed into the song. I was thinking about this song as a reference point after I had written the track ‘King Point Marina’ – not in terms of the structure or the content, but just the feel and the impact that ‘Fly’ has, and how it does so much with (seemingly) so little. This song is unquestionably a masterpiece.
PIXIES – WHERE IS MY MIND?
OF COURSE you know this song. But it’s one of those perennial favourites of mine that is some kind of touchstone within my head for how certain things should sound. This song FEELS powerful. And the sentiment expressed in the chorus was an influence, something I was thinking about a lot when I was writing the album. (Sidenote: got to see Pixies perform live this year and they did not disappoint.)
NEIL YOUNG – ON THE BEACH
Neil Young has one of those back catalogues that’s dizzying in its size, scope and variety. My ‘favourite’ Neil Young album changes from month to month. But ‘On the Beach’ is one hell of a piece of work. It’s a fairly downbeat album but the whole thing really chimes with me, and the title track particularly is powerful, beautifully produced, and built around that oh-so-simple but oh-so beautiful chorus ‘The world is turning / I hope it don’t turn away’.
RICHARD HAWLEY – STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE
I love the way Richard Hawley creates stories with his songs, something that I particularly respond to. But this song has so much going for it sonically too. Again, it’s the guitars that I can’t get enough of, but the whole track has so much atmosphere and energy. I also like that it’s not just 3 or 4 minutes long – it builds, it breathes, and it sort of leaves no stone unturned as it unfolds and swells. Hawley really went for it with this track and again, it’s one of my go-to songs. What a tune!
Running with the Outliers is out on all digital and streaming platforms November 15th. To directly support Gozer, you can buy the album from his Bandcamp HERE