A predictably unpredictable collection from the quirky Londoners

Are you familiar with Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra? If you’re not, let us give you a crash course. They’re a talented bunch of lads who make unique folk-rock music, and they sound quite a bit like this:

 

 

We think they’re pretty great

They’re not bad at all, are they? If you like what you hear, then you’re going to love this: we got Dan from the band to put together a playlist of his favourite songs, and he chose some absolute corkers. Here’s Dan explaining why he chose a few of the songs:

Doves – Sea Song

Lost Souls came out when I was 13 and I just fell in love with the album. At a time when most of the alternative crowd that I was knocking about with were listening to all that American punk and Nu-Metal stuff, I felt that being into bands like Doves and Radiohead somehow meant I was more mature and evolved in my listening. Doves‘ sound is cinematic and otherworldly and Jimi‘s voice is as much a part of soundscape as any of the instruments. I used to listen to this song at night and would see and feel things that nurtured my desire to write for myself.

 

 

Radiohead – Paranoid Android

‘In truth, there are dozens of Radiohead tracks that I would want on my playlist, but I’ve chosen this one. I am not trained in playing the guitar or singing. I never did grades; I learned by playing along to records like OK Computer. Thom Yorke‘s voice can soar and still sound fragile but also has can have this spiteful delivery and attitude that helps give Radiohead their edge. Jonny and Ed are such creative guitarists, too. I can’t help but feel as though they had a hand in my growing up.

 

 

The Beatles – I’m Only Sleeping

‘It’s difficult to pick a favourite Beatles track, but as I get older I find myself appreciating John Lennon‘s writing more and more. The Beatles wrote fantastic melodies, but there’s a darkness and complexity to a lot of John‘s writing that make him both an object of my fascination and a huge influence on me.

 

 

Nick Cave – The Curse of Millhaven

‘I have always been drawn towards songs or artists that embrace the shadow and macabre. I love how Nick Cave writes so vividly from the perspective of monstrous characters.  His novels are wonderful too.

 

 

The Smiths – There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Morrissey is one of my favourite lyricists because he understands the marginalised and the untraditional. There’s a line in this song – “in the darkened underpass I thought ‘Oh God, my chance has come at last’ // but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn’t ask” – that captures so perfectly the anticipation and excitement  that is so often halted by the same timidness and self-doubt that decorated so much of my youth.

 

 

Check out Dan Shears’ full playlist:

 

 

 

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