Guest Top Five - Gozer Goodspeed

With Gozer Goodspeed's EP released today, we wanted to know something about his musical influences and what music a dedicated muso like him listened to. So he told us...

This will shock no-one, but I live and breathe music. The amount of music I listen to on a daily basis is staggering – it’s probably easier to count the minutes of each day when I’m not listening to, playing, or otherwise thinking about music. It’s always with me.

The good folks at AlbieMedia asked me to write about who the main influences for my latest EP were, and that’s a little hard to nail down for me, simply because I listen to so much all of the time. However, I went back and looked at what I was playing the most of in the run up to recording the new record, and some clear favourites started to become obvious. For simplicity’s sake, I’ve stuck to the work of singer-songwriters. I listen to a fair bit of funk and groove-based ambient electronica too, but you won’t hear much of that on my new EP.

Dave Rawlings Machine – The Weekend 

(and the whole of ‘Nashville Obsolete’)

I don’t know what happened to Dave Rawlings between his last record and this one, but my God the whole of ‘Nashville Obsolete’ is brilliant, and a massive step into musical maturity. Dave is somehow cynical, playful, soulful and woeful all at the same time, and the entire album has been in heavy, heavy rotation in my house for the last six months or more. I love this kind of jaded Americana, the kind that feels somehow effortlessly suggestive of an entire outlook, geography and way of life. ‘The Weekend’ was the track that sucked me in, and I haven’t been able to let this 7-track low-key masterpiece go since.

Goldfrapp – Clowns 

(and the whole of ‘Seventh Tree’).

A lot of people don’t seem to realise that Alison Goldfrapp oscillates between putting out grooved up electropop and also gentle, mellow, dreamy acoustic albums, and she pulls off both kinds of record with astonishing dexterity. I’ve been in love with the whole of ‘Seventh Tree’ ever since it came out and I love ‘Clowns’ the most. Everything about it reeks of such craft, grace, and beauty. It’s sumptuous, and relaxing, and immersive. The entire album is great, and should be listened to from beginning to end.

Turin Brakes – 96 

(and the whole of ‘Lost Property’).

I saw the Turins live in October. I’ve followed the band ever since their first album – the Optimist LP – and they’re a highly underrated outfit that have evolved beautifully over the years into some of the UK’s finest songwriters. One of my best friends is convinced that my track ‘Every Night, Saturn’s Rings’ is heavily influenced by the Turins. I can’t say he’s wrong, but as with all these things, none of it is conscious. In conclusion: buy this album and see this band, because you won’t be sorry.

Richard Hawley – Heart of Oak 

(and the whole of ‘Hollow Meadows’).

Richard Hawley is a superbly talented, unique songwriter. That’s not news, but it’s worth saying again. Every album he puts out knocks my socks off for different reasons than the last one. ‘Hollow Meadows’ is full of low key musical jewels and the lyrics are littered with casual wit and genuine majesty. Hawley is one of a kind, and ‘Heart of Oak’ is just special in every way to me.

Aldous Harding – ‘Stop Your Tears’ 

(and the whole of the album ‘Aldous Harding’).

Wow. Where did that voice come from?! There’s a texture and a depth to Harding’s record that I fell hard for from the first time I heard it. It’s one-of-a-kind, and her voice is out of this world. She’s a rare and unique storyteller, and I’d love to see her play live. Her music is like a pool you want to dive right into. ‘Step Your Tears’ is gorgeous. I fully appreciate that she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but you know what? Neither am I...

All of these influences ended up on The Barrel Headlong Into the Night EP somewhere, but where exactly is hard to say. As always with this kind of thing, people will make their own judgements! What I can say though is that everyone on this list matters to me, their music matters to me, and if you don’t know the people I’ve mentioned you should give them a try, because they might just end up mattering to you too.

OK, I’m off to listen to some music...

And we suggest you do too - The Barrel Headlong Into the Night EP is out today to buy on all good digital platforms. For more information visit

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