Six Of The Best – The Old Pink House | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s “cosmic pop” quartet The Old Pink House drop their new single Digital Romance, the title track from their upcoming EP (released on 22nd October).  The track, with its brooding bass, joyous synth riffs and soulful, soaring vocals, is an anthemic and energetic offering with hooks a plenty that’ll have you coming back for more. 

We catch up with the band, who are performing at Cobalt Studios on Saturday 30th October, to find out about their six of the best…

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath were the first band I ever loved. My Dad is super into loads of old rock bands but Sabbath was always his favourite, and I was totally obsessed as soon as he introduced me to them when I was a kid. It just blew my mind that they had this heavy, sludgy sound when all the other bands of their era seemed so tame in comparison. ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ to this day is still my favourite of theirs – it was their first venture into more proggy territory, with all the synths and additional percussion, but it’s still chock full of absolutely banging riffs. Just a proper, proper classic.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver – Bon Iver
This album changed my life, for sure. I mean, the first Bon Iver album changed my life, but the follow-up like MEGA changed my life. I had just never heard something so artful and complete before this. The arrangements are just mind-blowingly good, and going from the scrappy, crusty sound of the debut to this widescreen, cinematic sound was a total curveball. It incorporates so many different influences totally seamlessly, and the songwriting underneath all the layers of lush instrumentation is just stunningly beautiful. I could harp on about it forever. It’s probably my favourite record of all time.

Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
Grizzly Bear are one of the most underrated-but-still-somehow-universally-acclaimed bands ever. Every single one of their albums is an actual masterpiece in its own right, yet it seems like things are kind of over for them, which really upsets me. I could genuinely pick any of their albums for this, but even though it’s one of the less accessible ones, ‘Yellow House’ is the album where they first truly sounded like Grizzly Bear. They’re the only band I can think of where you can really hear each different member’s style distinctly in each song, but it always coheres perfectly into something gorgeously idiosyncratic. The album closer ‘Colorado’ is simultaneously super simplistic and crazily complex, but more than anything, it has this ominously sad vibe that just encapsulates the whole album. 

Eraserhead
We always spend a lot of time working out concepts for our artwork. I sometimes think the visual side of music gets forgotten about with streaming sites rendering the idea of the ‘album’ obsolete for a lot of people, but when I was growing up the artwork for a record was a huge part of how I interpreted and experienced music. A huge influence on the vibe we wanted to create around the visuals for our new EP was the work of David Lynch, but specifically Eraserhead. It’s pretty obvious when you put our EP artwork side by side with screenshots from the movie – we really wanted to capture that cold, industrial atmosphere that just saturates the film. I could have thrown in any David Lynch movie as a big influence generally – I’m a Lynch obsessive – but Eraserhead was the key touchstone in designing the visuals for ‘Digital Romance’. 

The Sopranos
It’s not necessarily an influence on our music, but how can I not throw in The Sopranos? It’s the best TV show ever made and if you disagree, well, just shut up. 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I’m just a massive softboi, and Eternal Sunshine is my ultimate massive softboi movie. It’s a film that I first watched when I was pretty young, and to this day it still provokes a visceral emotional reaction in me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard another piece of art that so perfectly captures all the different nuances and aspects of actual relationships. The movie itself is lightning in a bottle as well – I love Charlie Kaufman’s and Michel Gondry’s own separate works, but that collaboration  for this movie is so perfect in a way that neither of them will likely ever replicate again. The soundtrack by Jon Brion is insanely beautiful as well. It’s just been such a huge part of my life in so many ways, there’s no way its influence doesn’t seep into anything creative I try to do in some way. Obviously I’ll never ever make anything anywhere near as good, but still, I can try.

 

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