Maura M. Lynch (Blush): 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Maura M. Lynch (Blush): 5 Albums That Changed My Life

This December, Maura Lynch of the band Darlings is out with a new project, Blush, a collaboration with Jonathan Campolo (Pill), Nick Campolo and Andrew Chugg (Pop. 1280). The band’s debut, self-titled record comes out December 8 via Arrowhawk.

Tracks like single “Daisy Chain” are languid and sweet, and Blush is definitely worth a check-out. Below, Lynch shares some of her top albums.

Fiona Apple, Tidal

My dad bought Tidal when I was 12 or 13 — he probably read about it in Rolling Stone or something — but it wasn’t long before this CD lived exclusively in my room. Every day I came home from school and sang along to every word. How was it possible that she wrote these songs when she was only a few years older than I was? I was amazed. No one really articulates what this album did for me and the other young women who loved it like Jenn Pelly did for Pitchfork: ‘Fiona performed an act of insurrectionism upon my teenage life. This was a young feminist awakening of tectonic proportions. I was never the same.’ Fiona forever.

The Strokes, Is This It

I recently finished reading Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me in the Bathroom, which brought back many happy memories of me listening to the Strokes in high school. As a teen stuck in the suburbs with a great aspiration to move to New York, Is This It held the promise of a life I hoped to live, people I hoped to know, a way I hoped to feel while navigating the world. It made me feel, for lack of a better word, ‘cool’ — during a time when I definitely did not feel cool. I became obsessed (probably embarrassingly so).

Loving a band can be kind of like solving a mystery: you start reading interviews for clues about other bands to listen to and movies to watch and books to read — new cultural leads to chase. This was especially true for me as a 16-year-old girl dumb in love with the Strokes. Thanks to the insane amount of music press they received at the time, my affection for them soon led me to albums by Guided by Voices, the Velvet Underground, Television, Patti Smith — and for that I’m very grateful.

Nina Simone, Wild is the Wind

Many years ago I found a copy of this at Housing Works on Crosby Street for $3 and proceeded to play it in my apartment incessantly. I didn’t know much about Nina Simone before that, save maybe a song here or there, so this was my introduction. Her voice still gives me goosebumps. I love when she sings, ‘Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody…’ in ‘All I Ask.’ Her ‘hmm’ after singing, ‘You’re spring to me, all things to me,’ in ‘Wild is the Wind.’ The way her voice crescendos as the end of ‘Four Women.’ Around the same time, I watched Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising and started getting obsessed with devastatingly sad pop songs. ‘Either Way I Lose’ fit into that for me. It’s still one of my favorite songs in the world.

Broadcast, Tender Buttons

I moved to Paris for six months in 2006, and right when I arrived, my friend Greg burned me a copy of Tender Buttons. I listened to it non-stop — walking around the city, riding the metro, lying in bed, on the night bus home from dancing. More than a decade later, it’s still an album I know I can turn to when I’m sick of everything else. The blown-out synth and guitar sounds, the loopy song structures, and Trish Keenan’s otherworldly vocals are endlessly inspiring. This album is warm and weird and sad and funny and just the exact feeling I want to feel all of the time.

Deerhunter, Microcastle/Weird Era Cont

Blush began around the time I first listened to this album. To be honest, many of my first demos were me trying — and failing — to write Deerhunter songs. I like the idea of fucked-up-sounding pop songs and emotional lyrics that don’t sound too cheesy or self-serving. Deerhunter does that so well. Thanks to this album I went back and listened to Cryptograms — I’m still not sure why ‘Hazel St.’ hasn’t been in a teen movie — and Fluorescent Grey. I also got deep into the old Deerhunter blogspot, where the band and their friends posted mixes and demos. I’ve patiently awaited each album they’ve released since then.

I don’t see that many big shows these days, but I’ve seen Deerhunter and/or Atlas Sound so many times, and the shows are always so good. On the banks of the Hudson river, as they played ‘Wash Off’ just as a thunderstorm was approaching. At a bar near a graveyard in Brooklyn. In Montmartre in Paris after Monomania came out. Most recently, at Warsaw, an old Polish events hall-turned-music venue down the street from me in Greenpoint. Anyway, long dorky story short, I’m a big fan.

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