1. John Leyton | Johnny Remember Me
This is perhaps my favourite song. I remember hearing it for the first time in the basement of 333 in London, right at the end of the night and just being floored. I ran to the DJ to ask what on earth it was. He showed me the battered sleeve. It was his dad's old 45. Then began my love affair with Joe Meek, one of the greatest record producers that ever lived. He was radical at a time when other producers were more like scientists, working clinically and wearing white coats. He recorded in his house in Holloway, using his bathroom as a reverb chamber, using home-made gear, making hits! Johnny Remember Me was number 1 in 1961. Every element of it is perfection. John Leyton's vocal is unreal. I can hardly believe a song so wonderful exists.
2. Godspeed You Black Emperor! | BBF3
Discovering GYBE! was a real watershed for me. I fell in love with the mythology surrounding them. When I learnt to play the guitar, they were virtually all I listened to. They lack the elements that interest me least about so-called Post-Rock and their crescendos are never cheesy. I immediately identified with their sound and their choice of tonalities and they remain a huge influence on me. I met Efrim Menuck last year and thanked him from the bottom of my heart.
3. The Brian Jonestown Massacre | Miss June '75
This must be my favourite of the The Brian Jonestown Massacre's many perfect songs and it was written and sung by Matt Hollywood, not the band's godhead Anton Newcombe. It's so candid and tender and you can just hear he's completely in love. It's surely one the most beautiful and moving songs about cunnilingus ever recorded.
4. Selda | Gitme
I'm in awe of Selda Bağcan. She refocused Turkish Folk Music through the lens of late-60s and 70s Psych-Rock, Funk and Electronic Music in a really cool way. There is so much amazing Anatolian Rock that came out of Turkey in the 70s, but she is outstanding. I can't understand what she's singing about, but she was outspokenly political and her delivery is so impassioned. I love the swirling sound in this song.
5. The Shangri-Las | I Can Never Go Home Anymore
I love 60s Girl Pop and The Shangri-Las did it with an unparalleled level of melodrama. When Mary Weiss screams Mama! I get a chill every time. When I listen to the Shangri-Las my heart bleeds for all the heavy-hearted teenage girls in the mid-60s crying into their pillows and listening on their Dansettes. The production on this one especially is so amazing and I love the finger cymbals and tragic strings.
6. Swans | Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture
I found Swans quite late, when they released The Seer. Their ability to wield Music so monstrous is incredible. Their Music is elemental, punishing and far more Heavy than Metal. I got to see them play in Detroit last year and it was an honour.
7. Jimmy And The Rackets | Black Eyes
I'm really into Surf Music as well as Rautalanka and the kind of Instrumental Rock The Shadows pioneered. This song is a gem. Unbelievable guitar tone and Jimmy is a real shredder. I've just found out they're still going! Mostly playing private functions in Germany.
8. Cat Power | Hate
Chan Marshall's voice is impossibly gorgeous. My dad once described it as like the fur on a peach. This song is so raw. I really admire her honesty and her ability to articulate her suffering with such grace.
9. Grandaddy | He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot.
Jason Lytle is such a great, idiosyncratic songwriter. He juxtaposes silliness and really touching sentimentality in a way few people can pull off. I always return to Grandaddy.
10. Spiritualized | Broken Heart
This song is Jason Pierce all over. His output is not that consistent, but in his best moments his Music is transcendental. He's a huge influence on my Music and is one of the artists who allowed me to think that perhaps I could make Music. I'm just stunned at his incredible courage to confront his sadness and make songs about enduring Existence which are beautiful.