By: Staff –
To celebrate the release of Toronto-based indie artist AlphaCub’s new album Night Heart (out now), the up-and-coming singer-songwriter curated an exclusive new Spotify playlist containing songs that have inspired him, which you can stream below.
“Days of Thunder” – The Midnight
This song was my introduction to the new synthwave scene blowing up right now. I remember seeing the title for the first time I read the title I knew it would be up my alley. This band is incredible I saw them in Toronto this past November and it was awesome. I love a band that uses their sax player to their fullest potential. This song makes you feel like you’re following neon lights in a DeLorean. I can’t recommend this song/band enough.
“Sign” – VHS Collection
I had the pleasure of opening for this band recently. You know that first song that speaks to you after a breakup? That’s this song for me. It came along at the right time and just spoke to me. It’s about having one foot in and one foot out and never fully moving on. That’s what it says to me anyway. I love getting signs from the world and I try to submit and follow them as best I can.
“Hymne” – Vangelis
My father showed up at my apartment door in Halifax and I greeted him by shoving the Vangelis album ‘Opera Sauvage’ in his face and exclaiming ‘this is the greatest album ever!’ He just looked at me and laughed. Then he preceded to tell me that he and my mother used to listen to Vangelis a lot when they were pregnant with me. Something I’d never heard before. Remember in the paragraph above when I mentioned signs? Case and point.
“Not Miserable” – Frightened Rabbit
Scott Hutchison changed how I wrote songs forever. He taught me not only beautiful melodic textures but also as a lyricist that you can write what ever the fuck you want. Wear your words on your sleeve and declare them to people. Scott died last summer and I never got to see them live even though I could have on three different occasions. It’s a big regret in my life. Don’t wait.
“How Can We Be Lovers?” – Michael Bolton
Listening to light rock stations in the back of a station wagon on my way to and from school was a huge influence in my early introductions to music. Bolton is operatically trained and has insane range. I love ‘yacht rock’ and this is one of the many anthems I love in that genre that you could hear coming from my family car in 1990 while crossing the MacDonald bridge in Halifax.
“Missing U” – Robyn
I’ve always loved Robyn and hear anthemic pop style. Around the time this song was released I had lost a friend and she was only 22 years old. The song took on more of an inspired meaning for me once I got a vibrant pop melody delivered with deep rooted lyrics of longing. It’s a feeling of ‘positive conflict’ that I really enjoyed feeling. I’d listen to this song over and over while jogging like some kind of millennial Rocky sequence. I miss my friend and this song inspires me to make power pop.
“Fade Away” – Trevor Something
This dude is amazing. He very much captures the smoothness of synth-pop perfectly combined with hints of R&B. I really dig his Instagram account in-where he has over six thousand followers but follows no one himself. His music is mysterious like strange lights in the sky.
“Dark Allies” – Light Asylum
I love this artist so much. This song is my newest obsession and I respect any performer that works a pre recorded horse neigh into a perfect pop song in this case it’s another tune on the album ‘In Tension’ called ‘A Certain Person’. I discovered them whilst listening to one of my favourite podcasts called The Ballad of Billy Balls which is a ‘true crime punk love story’. I’m huge into podcasts I find them incredibly helpful in so many ways not the least of which is discovering a new band. Make-up and Vanity Set and Colter Wall are two other examples of great artists I heard while listening. Light Asylum is like Grace Jones meets Depeche Mode.
“Cold Sweat” – Church of the Cosmic Skull
My local watering hole here in Toronto is called The Jim and it’s the best! They always play music videos, everything from from old school much music pop up videos to Toronto indie artists that no ones heard of. These guys are from the UK and I was hooked when I heard their song ‘Cold Sweats’ it’s one of the catchiest rock songs I’ve heard in a while. Their branding is awesome their like some cultish rock revelation right outta the 70’s.
“Beth/Rest” – Bon Iver
This song single handed lyrics brought back my love for light rock. From the guitar to the synth and sax parts it’s a perfect blend of in depth songwriting and Caucasian crooning. I had just moved into my own place for the first time after a break up and this song just popped for me. It was a touchstone for me in my own writing at the time. When I find a song that speaks to me I’m in the habit of listening to it over and over for hours at a time. I still enjoy it immensely. It cleanses my pallet and puts me in a good place.