Dirty Heads: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Dirty Heads: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

California’s Dirty Heads recently dropped their very summery new song, “Vacation,” complete with a video starring Dennis Haskins of Saved By the Bell fame. The bouncy track is the first single off of their upcoming record by the same name.

In anticipation of the release, the band’s Jared Watson shared some records with TIDAL that changed his life.

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Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers

This changed everything for me. The world they created, it was like finding your new favorite movie and wanting to live inside it. I don’t really have words to describe it. I used to memorize the verses and my friend and I would spit them at parties. That’s when I first started writing my own verses, after studying that album and getting the feel of having a rhythm and cadence to your words and how to tweak them. The math of writing verses really revealed itself to me for the first time.

 Horace Andy, The Best of Horace Andy

When I really started down the deep rabbit hole of reggae and rocksteady, I found Horace Andy. I love his high, haunting register. The songs can feel sunny and warm and then easily switch to haunting and dark and there was something original in that to me. I could rattle off ten more of my top reggae or rocksteady artists, but I think Horace is my favorite. Every song is like a perfect hip-hop sample waiting to be used. And you wouldn’t even have to speed it up.

 The Decemberists, Hazards of Love

In my opinion, one of the best concept albums ever. A fantasy story as good as Lord of the Rings written, sung and played by musicians as good as the Decemberists… come the fuck on. I’ve probably listened to this album more than one hundred times, and each time I feel like I find something new.

My brother showed me this album and at first I listened once or twice and was like, ‘Yeah, cool, it’s good.’ But then he explained the story behind it and my mind was blown. Before we had a tour bus and it was my turn to drive, I would listen to this. A great movie for your ears. As a songwriter, it really made me want to elevate the storytelling aspect of the craft.

The Ink Spots, Greatest Hits

I found the Ink Spots while playing one of my favorite video games, Fallout. I immediately fell in love. I had found a new genre I had never heard. I knew and loved artists like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, but this group from the 1940s was something completely new to me. I found them about five years ago and well into my career.

After being in the studio listening to songs over and over loud as fuck, playing show after show, having raging parties night after night, writing and re-writing songs, you get mashed potato brains. The Ink Spots are like a cool shower for my mind. I can’t really listen to anything else anymore. They also helped with the songwriting process by showing me that less can be much, much more. They don’t even use fucking drums. It’s bliss.

Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 2

El-P has been one of my favorite rappers since the Company Flow days, but I had lost a little faith in hip-hop for a while. And didn’t really follow the scene much any more. The ASAP and TDE camps still kept my faith alive, but then I heard Run the Jewels 2. It singlehandedly restored all faith! It’s the main reason I am doing a solo hip-hop album. It’s like they took everything I love from hip-hop and wrote an album just for me. Grimey, heavy, melted sonics with bars and bars for days.

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