Little Boots: 5 Albums That Changed My Life
Electro-pop singer-songwriter Little Boots is ramping up to release a new EP titled Burn, following up 2015′s Working Girl. She’s now out with the single “Shadows,” so we decided to chat a bit about some albums that changed her life.
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Kate Bush, Lionheart
Kate Bush is everything to me. This was her second album and not her most popular; it was criticized for being a rushed followup to The Kick Inside to capitalize on “Wuthering Heights”s success. But personally I find it such a personal and rewarding record; some of the songs were written when she was as young as 14 (you can still hear the stunning original piano vocal demos online), and her talent and vision at such a young age is just mind-blowing.
Antonio Carlos Jobim, Wave
I have had a Bossa Nova obsession since singing with jazz bands as a teenager. It’s the music of sunshine and every time I hear this record I imagine lying on Copacabana Beach in the ’60s. I’m obsessed with the lyrics and texture of Portuguese in Bossa songs, and I adore the voice of Astrud Gilberto. Jobim was one of the godfathers of Bossa, I’m also a huge fan of the record with Stan Getz, but lately I’ve really been won over by the soaring strings on Wave.
No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom
This was the soundtrack of my teenage years. Looking back, I had a fairly awkward transition from high school geek to some kind of confused hippie punk loud-dressing singer of bands, and Gwen Stefani was definitely a huge inspiration. She was just such a bad ass popstar, strong but still feminine, the rebellious spirit of ‘Just A Girl’ combined with the emotionally vulnerable voice of ‘Don’t Speak.’ She was everything I wanted to be and I knew every lyric on this record by heart, and probably still do.
Britney Spears, Blackout
This album is undoubtedly one of the best modern pop records; the songwriting is absolutely stellar and the production was really ahead of its time. Despite the terrible timing of Britney’s shaved head escapades/dodgy Grammy performance, so many pop writers and producers still refer to this record and its influence as far-reaching. For me it’s also evidence of Brit’s star quality; despite a myriad of writer and producer credits and song styles across the record, and whilst going through a bit of a tough personal time, her personality and unique vocal delivery holds it all together. I saw her live recently and the songs sounded as fresh as ever.
Robyn has been a huge inspiration to me, not just musically but as an artist and business woman. At a time when starting your own label and self-releasing was not really the done thing, Robyn was a true trailblazer, turning her back on her ’90s pop persona and starting a record label from her kitchen to release music how and when she wanted. What followed was her self-titled album full of quirky personality-drenched pop gems that defined how you could play the game. It reinforced all my ideas that pop songs didn’t need to be generic and cookie cutter, that there was a way to break the mould and delivery huge songs that were full of heart and character, and helped give me confidence to start my label and take creative control of my career. I haven’t looked back.
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