Hailing from Derry, Reevah may have only released a small handful of tracks to the world in the past year, but what she has released in that time has been of the highest quality. The chilled atmosphere of first single ‘Daydreamer’ was followed by the more upbeat ‘Highway Blues’. Latest release ‘Nights’ has brought the things down to an even gentler pace with Aoife Boyle aka Reevah’s vocals floating on a bed of soft guitar. Here, Reevah picks out some of the songs that shaped her soft sounds.
Music as you would imagine, is a massive part of my day to day life, my mindfulness and me as a person.
To be asked to write about my inspirations and influences is really exciting and probably equally just as difficult!
Being a musician, I find inspiration in so many forms constantly, every day, from people I meet, art and the main one being other musicians, as a result it’s been hard for me to keep these influences to just ten as the list of ‘ influences and inspirations’ are never ending for me!
My parents are musicians and artists so I have been immersed in both forms from a young age, as a result they have partially influenced what and who I listen to therefore I have a very mixed taste in music and i really appreciate all genres, so the list below is a bit of a mixed bag! I hope you enjoy.
Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla
The ethereal sound of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós came to my attention as a teenager, the album ‘Takk..’ which was released in 2005, is beautiful, magical, dreamy and orchestrally amazing. ‘Hoppípolla’ at the time to me was something new, completely different and fresh, and still stands as one of my favourite songs. Sigur Rós’ free flowing dreamy style is something i like to adopt into my own music.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Porcelain
The first album I can remember really loving was ‘Californication’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this may seem strange for a seven/eight year old, when all of my friends were into Busted ‘The Year 3000’ meanwhile I was in my room listening to Anthony Keideis singing about Dani California. Something about the Chilis has always stuck with me and to this day remain one of my all time favourite bands.
Their songs seem timeless. “Porcelain” from this album was always one of my favourites, and i think part of the song-writing and character of this song is portrayed in my own writing and work.
Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
Van Morrison has always been at the pinnacle of my inspirations, the album ‘Astral Weeks’ reminds me of long summer evenings in Boston. At this stage i was probably about twelve and although the album came out in 1968 i had just discovered it, and my pre-teen mind was blown. There are three tracks in particular on this album that really stand out for me as influences, they are ‘Slim Slow Slider’, ‘Ballerina’ and the title track ‘Astral Weeks’
The Japanese House – Saw You in a Dream
Recently I was introduced to the band The Japanese House, an English Indie Pop collective, fronted by Amber Bain. I really love the 80’s sound they create with synthesisers and the use of a vocoder on the vocals. I have so many favourite songs ‘Letter by the Water’ and ‘Clean.’ But ‘Saw You in a Dream’ is a winner, Bain’s vocals are totally flawless, dreamy and addictive, with just the right amount of clean guitar and synthesizers. This band is relatively new to me, but their music is so powerful I can feel them already having an impact on the music i write.
Lucy Rose – Middle of the Bed
Lucy Rose has always been a massive influence of mine, throughout my music degree I found a great amount of inspiration from her first album ‘Like I used To.’ Her folky soulful delivery is something I try to carry through into my own music. I love the way she is very much her own person, almost undisturbed by the music industry. I’ve seen her perform live a few times and she always has such a down to earth calming nature and presence. One of the qualities i really love about her music is that it’s not always perfectly polished, you can hear the sound of the room and the atmosphere around her is always portrayed in her music. ‘Middle of the Bed’ is one of those beautifully timeless tracks.
Bon Iver- Flume
Justin Vernon has been a constant influence to me for so many years. When ‘For Emma’ was released in 2007 I was immediately hooked. I would go as far as saying this album pushed me to pursue music further. The whole album is so beautifully constructed, and again similar to Lucy Rose it is perfectly imperfect. This album holds a lot of emotion and memories for me. And in particular the track ‘Flume.’
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
I’m going in a slightly different direction with this one! Fleetwood Mac probably features on almost everyone’s ‘favourite band’ lists. However there is no denying how much of a mega babe Stevie Nicks is. ‘Dreams’ to me is one of those classic songs which will forever be amazing! I particularly love the vocals on this track, I’m always partial to a bit of karaoke on this one!
City and Colour – Comin’ Home
If I could marry someones voice it would be definitely be Dallas Green’s. It is one of those distinctive voices, so flawless and effortless. As of the past nine years City and Colour remains one of the greatest influences to me in writing music. Every single one of his albums is brilliant and ranges in a variety of genres from folk, rock, pop and blues. The albums ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Little Hell’ are the most prominent to me and the song ‘Comin’ Home’ reminds me of a changing time in my life, which spurred a lot of musical inspiration. The guitar parts in this song are particularly brilliant.
Kavinsky – Nightcall
Most of the songs included on this playlist hold sentimental value as well as the love of the artist/ song. This song is one of those, I really love this heavily synthesised electronic track which features on the soundtrack to probably one of my favourite films ever – ‘ Drive.’ it’s a perfectly constructed song.
Deftones – Change
Some people may be surprised by this one! I do love the dreamy, indie folk pop the majority of the time. However I do appreciate heavier music for sure! I’ve seen Deftones live and can honestly say it was one of the most amazing and powerful performances I’ve ever witnessed. As a vocalist, this is normally the first thing I am drawn to in an artist and Chino’s vocals are certainly amazing. ‘Change’ has to be my all time favourite song of theirs, the sustained gritty vocal and guitar accompanied by powerful drums and bass is brilliant.