Just released, William the Conqueror‘s fourth album finds the indie-rock trio firing on all cylinders as Joseph confronts the thin line between creativity and madness, inspired by compassion for the real-life angels of the world. Ruarri’ Joseph’s compelling semi-spoken vocals and swamp-blues-Seattle-scuzz guitars are propelled by the rhythm section of Naomi Holmes (bass) and Harry Harding (drums) as Excuse Me While I Vanish delivers an effortlessly winning blend of melody and ensemble dynamics, the most accomplished and undeniable William the Conqueror album to date.
We thought it was about time we found out more about what makes the Cornish jam-then-creamers, so we asked them to pick three albums that have greatly influenced their music.
Tom Waits – Alice
Even though sonically there’s no real reference to it, Tom Waits’ Alice from 2001 is always a massive influence going into making a record, especially in the writing stages. It’s a reminder that you can jump erratically between styles and still maintain coherence and consistency. I love how Waits can jump from something so delicate and soothing as the opener, then dive straight into the aggressive, industrial clatter of ‘Everything you Can Think of is True’ with its steam engine percussion and werewolf growl. It’s humorous, heart-breaking, poignant, mind boggling and such a trip to listen to as a whole.
David Bowie – Blackstar
Everyone knows that Blackstar by Bowie is an absolute masterpiece. It’s such an evocative record to listen to because of the undeniable link with his own mortality that runs throughout. We can all appreciate the artistry behind Bowie’s swan song and what a fitting end it was for him to leave us with. What we don’t talk about enough is how epic that drum sound is! Mark Guiliana is something of a genius and we were all a little bit obsessed with his work on Blackstar. It’s something we always keep in mind when going into the studio.
Pearl Jam – Yield
Pearl Jam’s finest in our opinion. Might have something to do with Jack Irons being the drummer, but there’s a looseness and a sway that isn’t very prevalent on PJ’s other records (great as they are!) that he brings to Yield and No Code. We’re always chasing the drum sound from this album too, and we love the full stereo spread of guitars that leaves all that space up the centre for bass and vocal. Top pick – ‘No Way’, written by Stone Gossard. Banger.