Six Of The Best: PICNIC | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Issac Johnson

Combining Indie, Jazz, Funk and Pop, Sunderland six-piece, PICNIC release their latest single, I Need Everybody, their first release with Think Tank? Records (out 4th March). The band, who have already supported the likes of Fickle Friends and Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), look to have a busy 2020 with shows at Riverside 2, Newcastle on 4th March, Hit The North on 3rd May and This Is Tomorrow Festival on 22nd May.

Here, guitarist Eddie Scott gives us his six of the best.

I’ve chosen to list six albums that I feel have had the biggest impact on me. These aren’t necessarily my six “favourite” albums, but they are the ones I find myself playing over and over again because of how they make me feel. Some are there because they’ve massively impacted the direction I’ve gone in musically and others just because I’ve felt some sort of unexplainable tethered connection that I can’t seem to shake. This may be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever done, so strap in. (They’re in no particular order, if anyone gives a shit). 

From Under The Cork Tree – Fall Out Boy
The first album I owned was an early Scissor Sisters record, it’s class, still a big fan, but the first album I really hammered every day from front to back was this one. Purchased as part of a 3 for 2 CD deal (Good Charlotte – The Young and The Hopeless and Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way were the other two), I used to listen to this album every morning before school, often jamming along on bass. This was the first album that I remember making me feel real emotion, mainly teenage angst, but also having the urge to jump around my room and scream along to “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”. My favourite FOB album is actually Folie a Deux, better tunes on it, but it doesn’t make me feel like this one. 

Emotion – Carly Rae Jepsen
This album blew my mind, single-handedly shattering any and all illusions I had about pop music. It’s just a joyous album, and it really opened my eyes to the world of pop. I remember just feeling like I was writing a lot of similar upbeat pop stuff at the time, and was often self conscious about it not being particularly “cool”. This album freed those shackles and gave me the confidence to just be bold about what kind of music I enjoyed writing, and what made me feel good. I actually came up with the “I Need Everybody” riff after trying to write a bassline similar to the one in the “When I Needed You” chorus.  Amazing album, listen to it. 

Land of Dreams – Randy Newman
Another that had a huge impact on how I write songs. I loved the odd synth choices, the really dark lyricism and dissonant sounds, and I loved that they were still all embedded within classic Newman style songs. Lyrically I loved how the stories were told, and hearing the perspective of characters that not many people have the balls to stick in the limelight, it just felt so unfiltered and real. I listened to “Four Eyes” once, and my obsession with Randy Newman started. “I Want You To Hurt Like I Do” is one of the most honest and heartbreaking songs of all time. Hit me like a sack of shit. Newman is the GOAT. 

Pinkerton – Weezer
Not the best Weezer album, that accolade goes to the Blue album, just got better tunes on it, however… Pinkerton just hits different. The raw emotion, the awful guitar tones, stupid lyrics. I just love it because it feels so authentic, as if Rivers Cuomo just screamed diary entries down a microphone while the band hit everything as hard as they could. The solo in “Tired of Sex” just makes me go nuts. Real, raw, catchy, one of the greatest emo albums of all time. Impact wise I suppose this showed me how effective just hitting record and releasing pent up negative energy can be. 

Aja – Steely Dan
Jazz chords, sax solos, drum solos, guitar solos, Steve Gadd, mint tunes you can actually sing and dance to. The Steely Dan boyos went full sicko mode with this one. I love geeky musical shite; jazz chords, six-part harmonies, polyrhythms, and this album just has a shit load. Blew me mind and really made me focus on musicianship and composition. The fact that they could balance all that jazz-fusion madness with actual pop songs that got radio play is just crazy. Amazing album that really inspired me to pull my finger out and play some cooler shit. 

Golden Hour – Jodie Nicholson
Not sure why this hit me as hard as it did, it’s quite far removed from what I usually listen to, but it did. I had the privilege of writing with Jodie recently, so thought I’d give her album a listen before we met, and then I nearly cried on a packed metro. So aye, it deserves a place on this list for that fact alone. It just makes me feel all warm and safe, but also like really nostalgic and sad… I’ve not really worked it out yet, it just makes me feel something that most albums don’t. “Oceans” almost puts me into a sort of trance state, the full album makes me want to just close my eyes and drift away. I don’t really understand my own brain, but I know I love this album and have listened to it an unholy amount of times since I discovered it. My goal as a songwriter is to create a piece of work that makes just one person feel the way that this album, and every other album on this list, makes me feel.

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