Russell Swallow made his name as part of the duo Swallow and the Wolf before taking time out from his career to travel and find himself. With a clear head and determined attitude, he returns with the stunning Chemicals, which is bound to propel him solo stardom. We caught up with him to find out what songs make him...
Miles Davis' Springsville from Miles Ahead is one of those jubilant, uplifting songs - it conjures the image of a late 50's whisky bars; stylishly dressed musicians, sophisticated listeners, a dark, smoky den, everybody gently tapping their feet or clicking their fingers. That puts a smile on my face.
The last time I cried whilst listening to music, was to Bon Iver's Skinny Love - in fact most of his debut had me - I was in a fragile state. It reached directly into me. I felt like I was hearing my sadness perfectly echoed back to me in his songs. They covered me, cradled what I was feeling, like a mirrored shroud.
They Might Be Giants' Birdhouse In Your Soul - this is such a dark, funny song. About the perspective of friendship from a glowing blue night light in the shape of a canary. What!? Exactly.
'I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am'
Want to work out
When I work out I'm more of a swimmer than anything else, so combining sports and listening to music isn't easy. But I can imagine running the streets to Âme's remix of Howling's self titled track. It has a propulsive, driven kick drum, and beautiful vocal floating above.
I was listening to Soundgarden's Superunknown a lot this Summer, it reminds me of catching late night MTV rock shows when I should have been asleep. A perfect slice of 90's grunge, masterful riffs, stunning vocal performances, and visceral songwriting.
Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon
In fact it's an album's worth of music, but it's just the one track. A beautiful, shimmering, warm cloud to get lost in, more than relax - I can fall fast asleep to it.
Something focused and high energy, like the soundtrack to Stallone's Rocky film serious - Eye Of The Tiger, or perhaps Katy Perry's Roar. I'm working on a cover of that at the minute actually (stay tuned).
Anything funky - I find James Brown's I Feel Good impossible not to move to, it's drenched in groove, sexual energy and goddamn funky rhythms!
Russell Swallow, 9th November 2017, 10:13 AM