It’s been a long while since You Won’t released their phenomenal debut album Skeptic Goodbye. We’ve been missing the band pretty desperately during all those years, so when they announced their sophomore album Revolutionaries earlier this year, we were insanely excited. With the first two tracks, it’s clear that the band has expanded on their unique sound and have created an album that’s completely worth the long wait. We asked You Won’t what they were listening to while they recorded, and they came back with a playlist that’s the perfect companion to the album. Check out the tracks below, and be sure to pre-order Revolutionaries now — we promise you’ll love it.
Fleetwood Mac – “Not That Funny”
I became somewhat obsessed with the guitar and percussion sounds on the entire Tusk album, and this track in particular. Apparently everyone thought Lindsay Buckingham was bonkers at the time for making everything sound so broken and dirty, but 37 years later I think it’s apparent he was just an effing genius who was way ahead of everybody sonically.
Gashcat – “Lady of the Ark”
We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make an acoustic guitar sound as fat and resonant as it does on this recording. I don’t think we ever quite got there. The vocals have a sweet, haunting quality to them, and the melodic jump in the chorus is so weird and delightfully surprising. This band apparently disbanded a few years ago, and the lead singer/songwriter Kyle Craft just released a new version of this track under his own name on Sub Pop, but after so many listens over the past couple years I’m hopelessly attached to the original recording.
Cat Power – “He-War”
Raky was something of a Cat Power superfan in high school and college, and I followed suit. Dave Grohl plays drums on this track, and we straight up stole his drum part for our track “Friends in Exile”. Sorry Dave! Hope that’s cool with you.
Tinariwen – “Imidiwan Ma Tenam”
The percussion sounds on this song and other Tinariwen tracks provided us with inspiration when we were looking to use something other than a traditional drum kit.
Leo Kottke – “Part Two”
If I could play guitar like this man, I wouldn’t have to bother with lyrics. As far as I know, this track features only a single low-tuned 12-string guitar, and the sound it generates is massive and wonderfully distinctive. Damn, if I had only practiced more during middle school instead of spending my weekends playing “Goldeneye” on Nintendo 64 (I remain unstoppable with proximity mines).
Bombadil – “Sad Birthday”
These North Carolinian gentlemen have become good friends of ours, but our friendship only came about because we heard their recordings and were tremendously moved and impressed. So moved, in fact, that Raky was compelled to contact them through MySpace. Yes kids, this was a few years ago. They are supremely talented songwriters and meticulous master arrangers, and this is one of my faves.
The Suitcase Junket – “Oh My”
Another love brother of ours. Matt Lorenz of Amherst, MA is a one-man band like no other. One of my favorite voices in all the universe and the most perfectly grungy, vibrating, trash-heap guitar sound you ever did hear.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – “Yeh Jo Halka Halka Saroor Hai”
Full disclosure: we discovered this legendary Pakistani singer/bandleader through indie rock patron saint Jeff Buckley. Lest you think us more worldly than we actually are. In any case, the
steady hand clap/tabla percussion and soaring group vocals made our knees quiver.
Toots and The Maytals – “Pomps and Pride”
This is just an absolutely perfect recording. As far as we know, they were working with pretty junky equipment in pretty ramshackle conditions. Just goes to show the gear is always secondary to the artistry. During the mixing process, we were ostensibly using this track as a model for some of our bass sounds, but we ended up just sitting there and marveling at how flawless it was.
Ramones – “Judy is a Punk”
Another flawless recording made in a hurry with shitty equipment. Really makes me feel like an idiot for taking any longer than 24 hours to make a record. So stupid. What the hell. I have to say, I feel a tinge of sadness anytime I hear the Ramones now knowing that after this first record, they basically spent 20 years riding around in a van hating each other. Rock bands are such an inherently dumb idea when you really think about it.
Spoon – “The Underdog”
This track manages to sound distinctive and original and full of character and very radio-friendly at the same time, which is a rare feat. Also, great hook. Also, great video. Also, mariachi horns!
Paul Simon – “The Obvious Child”
I love the unusual structure of this song and how it wanders and meanders in the middle before arriving at the big drum party finale. Yes, it helps to have the resources to hire a massive Brazilian percussion ensemble to appear on your record, but this is also just a wonderful lyric and melody that holds up pretty well on its own. That said, we spent like three weeks trying to recreate the massive Brazilian drum thing. We gave up.