By: Staff –
To celebrate Jon Samuel’s new album, Dead Melodies (out now via Hidden Pony), the singer-songwriter and keyboardist of Wintersleep curated an exclusive new playlist containing songs that inspired his new album, which you can stream below.
Dead Melodies Track-List
1. Another Lie
2. Dead Melodies
3. Modern Lovers
4. To Repel Ghosts
5. Lesser Evils
7. Sister Outsider
8. Heel of the World
9. Jonny Panic And The Bible of Dreams
Another Lie – My Generation (mono) by The Who
I had this riff and chorus vocal pop into my head while walking around Toronto during Wintersleep promo for The Great Detachment. I thought the song might end up sounding a bit like Spoon. But when I got back to the hotel and figured it out on guitar it definitely took on the quality of The Who. I like to think “Another Lie” has the right kind of swagger to start of this album and The Who’s “ My Generation” is all swagger!
Dead Melodies – Mambo Sun by T. Rex
Dead Melodies is just one of the songs that ended up sounding nothing like the song that inspired it. I initially wrote it at a much slower tempo, with a slurred vocal while strumming on an acoustic guitar. I was picturing something off of Electric Warrior as I had been listening to that album quite a bit at the time. I’m very happy Loel suggested we speed it up considerably. Dead Melodies now has an energy unlike anything I’ve record or performed before.
Modern Lovers – The Rip by Portishead
This Portishead song is breathtaking. A long chord progression played on acoustic guitar and backed by a beautiful sounding arpeggiated synth. It’s total vibe out sad time music. One of my and Loel’s favourite Portishead songs.
To Repel Ghosts – Bad As They Seem by Hayden
I tried to demo this song for a year and really wasn’t happy with it at all. It was one of those ideas that kept bouncing around in my head. I liked the lyric idea but I just couldn’t figure out the vibe for the song. I was up really late one night and I had been working on another song in a much lower key and I just started playing “To Repel Ghosts” in that range and it just worked. This was the first song Loel and I worked on for the album and we tracked almost the whole song on the first night. More than one person has noted its similarity to Hayden and I couldn’t be more happy with that comparison.
Lesser Evils – In Between Days by The Cure
Robert Smith is one of my favourite songwriters and singers. The guitar hook and vocal for “Lesser Evils” are both directly influenced by The Cure. Around the time of writing and recording the album I was listening to a lot of the cure on tour. I would put Seventeen Seconds, Pornography, The Head On The Door and Disintegration songs all on on shuffle and listen to them for hours.
Unloveable – Tall Tall Shadow by Basia Bulat
Another song that turned out nothing like the song that inspired it. “Tall Tall Shadow” is such a cool song. Obviously the vocal is a knockout! I love the chord progression especially when that drum beat hits after a slow burn. Maybe you can hear the reference once it’s brought to your attention…
Sister Outsider – Angels Rioting Against The Nothing by Contrived
Stanley Kubrick was often self referential so here I go… This song sounds like Contrived, another band I have played in since the early 2000s. “Sister Outsider” is unique and so is Contrived. I don’t think there is anything else that really sounds like either. Given that Loel, Tim and I all play in that band and we just figured out the instrumental for “Sister Outsider” by jamming in the studio, it makes sense that the song ends up sounding the way it does.
Heel Of The World – Do It Again by Steely Dan
I woke up from a nightmare and wrote some lyrics to the tune of Steely Dan’s “Do It Again.” The next day when I took a look at what I had written I really liked it so I figure out a different melody and kept it as a song in my head for three or four years. It sounds nothing like the Steely Dan song…and yes it’s a weird way to start in on writing a song…a nightmare will put you in a different sort of head space.
Jonny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams – I’m Not The Man I Used To Be by Fine Young Cannibals
Roland Gift has one of the coolest and most unique voices I’ve ever heard and I love Fine Young Cannibals songs. Loel mentioned them as a reference point during vocal tracking for this album and I started listening to FYC again. “I’m Not The Man I Used To Be,” might be a more literal lyrical inspiration for “Jonny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams.”