Much lauded since its release in October, Snapshot, the new album from singer-songwriter Juanita Stein, was directly inspired by the sudden death of her musician father, Peter. Recorded over a period of eight months, close to her home in Brighton, it’s undoubtedly her most conisdered, meditative and haunting solo record yet, and seems destined to connect her with many new listeners.
We thought it was about time we found out what makes the Brighton-based Australian tick, so we asked her to pick the three albums that have been the greatest influence on her music.
Björk – Debut
I mention this album a lot, but that’s simply because she blew open a genre of music for me I wasn’t even aware existed. She fused elements of grunge, pop, punk, trip hop and more. At that point I was more or less a rock purist. I grew up on the classic stuff and then discovered Björk and Nirvana around the same time.
So, suddenly, I felt like a lot more was possible for me musically. I’d always struggled trying to find the balance in Rock’n’Roll. I was never pure grunge, but i was never pure folk either. Björk allowed me to explore marrying the two.
The Mamas and the Papas – Greatest Hits
So here’s the folk influence. I listened to these guys a lot, mostly after high school, I would drive to university every day with these songs and all The Beatles records blaring. I was such a hippy, I adored Mama Cass and Michelle Phillips, I didn’t even care about the guys, I wanted to be them! The harmonies were so beautiful, I’m a HUGE harmony gal, so a lot of 60s music does it for me.
Also, the melodies are so steeped in old folk music, it’s instantly classic, ‘Go Where You Wanna Go’, ‘Monday, Monday’, ‘California Dreamin”. I met my best friend at uni and when I asked her what music she listened to she replied, “The Mamas and the Papas”. I told her we were gonna be best friends forever. And we are!
Steve Wonder – Innervisions
Not the most obvious influence I realise, but asides from Hendrix and The Beatles, I probably didn’t listen to anything more than I did Innervisions way back when and still, to this day. I find his music intoxicating, frighteningly ingenious, politically arresting and musically light-years ahead of its time. Tracks like ‘Livin’ for the City’, ‘Golden Lady’ and ‘Jesus Children of America’ painted themselves so intensely on my musical mind.
Stevie Wonder taught me to steer left, when you’re expected to steer right. To take the song to a new place, to explore unreasonable chords and melodies. And every now and then it actually works!