Candice Gordon caught our attention with her recently released album, Garden Of Beasts. A rich collection of darkly gothic songs sounding something like Siouxsie Sioux singing with The Bad Seeds.

Our interest firmly piqued, we asked Candice to pick the three albums that most heavily influenced her musical direction.

Taraf de Haikdouks – Band of Gypsies

I was introduced to the music of Taraf de Haidouks, a Roma band from Clejani, Romania, around the time I was living in the south of France and getting interested in Gypsy music. I got this album ‘Band of Gypsies’ and totally devoured it. I had the track ‘Pelin Beau, Pelin Mananc’ (I drink Absinth, I eat Absinthe) set as my ringtone, so I have a very particular gut reaction to hearing that song, especially because I was having a very fiery love affair at the time so I’d usually be quite excited when my phone rang.

If you haven’t heard this album, I don’t think I could sell it to you, it’ll either be totally your thing, or you won’t get it. For me, I love the lurching rhythms, the smoky familiar voices, the spiralling polyphonies that twist my ears and the sound of this camaraderie within the band. The production sounds so raw, warm, and unadulterated. This album was one of my main production references when recording ‘Before the Sunset Ends’.

R.Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders

This album is like a Woody Allen film on acid. A lovely, bright, light-hearted accompaniment to any trip into town in your plus fours and boater. With bubbling uke and guitar solos, just floating up and fizzing into your ears, Crumb sings double-entendre loaded dittys while his banjo sprays a little strum here and there.

The style is so friendly and familiar. I mean, these songs or something similar, have been piped into my brain since I was a bit older than embryonic. It’s no news that Robert Crumb is a living legend, effortlessly talented and with god-like potency as a cartoonist (I don’t think I’m exaggerating), and having created a whole unique visual world of his own, it’s wonderful to have a musical accompaniment to that. The band sounds like they’re all having a wonderful time.

Kraftwerk – Radio-Aktivität

Here we enter a sonic amusement park where our guides are Kraftwerk; amicable other-wordly creatures, who after initially freaking us the fuck out, realise we’re ok, just a little primitive, and they take us by the hand and show us how beautiful the world can really be. Because we’re a little simple, Kraftwerk morph into a toddler that shows us all of their toys one by one; here’s this weird sound going in your right ear and tickling your brain, and now here’s another sound that gives your left ear a little hug… the sounds throughout this album are displayed to us in a veritable museum of oddities.

The songs’ melodies are like lovely old fashioned children’s lullabies, innocent and earnest. And I can’t help but picture a sort of pastoral landscape in pastel colours like a German studio Ghibli.

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