Somewhere in between co-headlining a tour with POWERS, opening for HONNE across Europe, and releasing a new EP, Austrian troubadour James Hersey found some time to chat over the influences behind his latest record. Like his own smooth electropop, Hersey’s playlist exhibits a nuanced understanding of pairing minimal electronica with honest and emotive songwriting. Hersey will be returning to the states this summer to play several major festivals, including BottleRock in Napa Valley, CA and Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN. For now, get a sampling of James Hersey’s influences below, and be sure to check out his latest EP, Pages.
1. The Bomb Song – Darwin Deez
I love how laid back and simple this beat is. Paired with a bizarre story of the end of the world and the hope that in this last moment of despair he’ll find the love he so desperately seeks. Perfect.
2. Long Distance Call – Phoenix
I honestly have no idea what this song is actually about. I hear love, hope, digital frustration, and brilliant production. Absolutely enough to get me hooked.
3. Like A Dream – Francis & The Lights
Another track with brilliant, simple production, and great melody. I actually used this vocal as a reference for a background moment in the second verse of “Miss You”.
4. Pretty Little Thing – Fink
This track has been following me around for a while now, and never leaves my main playlists. A great story about being out with the boys and getting the girl none of them thought you could.
5. Belief – John Mayer
He was a big influence for me in the beginning. We had similar paths both striving to be the best guitarists out there, but eventually leaving performance studies to follow our dreams. His writing, especially on this album, had a clarity that no one could match at the time.
6. Magic – Coldplay
Another big influence when it comes to relaxed vocals, and writing from the heart.
7. 1998 – Chet Faker
This track changed the game for me when I first heard it. One of the best examples of organic electronica, whatever that might be to you.
8. Ithaca – Beatenberg
I actually discovered this band and album after I wrote the EP, but it’s inspired me so much since then it can’t remain unmentioned.
9. Carmen – Stromae
If I had a single vote for genius-of-our-time it would go to Stromae. I love this whole album, and everything about his melancholy authenticity.
10. Ask Me Anything – The Strokes
This album is also incredible. I know I’ve picked the outlier track, but the perfectly nonsensical beauty of it seems like a great way to finish a playlist as bizarre as this one.