I have always been fascinated by what music musicians listen to when they aren’t creating their own music. What music inspires them, what albums do they return to again and again—their “desert island” discs. With this in mind I decided to ask some of my favorite New Jersey musicians to name their top 10 favorite albums of all time. Not the albums that they think are “important,” or that have influenced many other artists or ones of technical merit. I wanted to know their very favorite albums that they love just because the records mean the most to them.
Asbury Park band Dentist have been playing their amazing blend of indie, surf, and pop-punk over the last few years to an ever growing fan base. Lead singer/guitarist Emily Bornemann’s voice is the perfect compliment to the surf tinged music. Their excellent 2014 self-titled debut gained them fans along the Jersey shore and beyond. We listed them as one of the 35 N.J. Bands We’re Excited About in 2015. They recently signed with Little Dickman Records and their much anticipated follow-up LP will be out later this year. Just returned from SXSW, needless to say 2016 is shaping up to be a another great year for Dentist.
Without further ado here is Emily’s list:
Trying to think of my top ten favorite albums to date was not as easy as I initially thought, but in the end, I chose albums that not only hold up over time, but also helped shape me as a person and musician. So, here we go…
1. Strange Heaven by Mrs. Magician- This record is the very best I‘ve heard in the past ten years, hands down. Every song is catchy, well written, and total ear candy. With a mix of beach boys, a touch of stoner rock, and an overall grungy/surf sound, it’s impossible not to dance around. The harmonies are on point and the guitar tone is unstoppable.
2. This is a Long Drive For Someone with Nothing to Think About by Modest Mouse- This record immediately puts me in a solemn mood, but in the best way possible. It’s an incredibly honest album. The first song, Dramamine, is one of my all time favorite songs. This record demands your attention, and every song brings me back to a time or moment in my life. This is also the perfect album to take a long drive to.
3. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance- Okay, I know, emo, but this record has held up for me since my hair was purple and I had a lip piercing. The flow of the album is well thought out and perfect. This record clearly has passion, hard work, and dedication poured into it. I still listen to it, and I still love it.
4. Antics by Interpol- The moment I first heard this record I didn’t stop playing it for weeks. I first found out about this band, believe it or not, on MTV. I watched a video with a puppet that got into a car accident, and it was love at first sight. The album starts slow, which I don’t usually like, but they wrote the most perfect song where you almost feel like they already reached perfection, but then they come in with another hit like It’s just awesome from there out.
5. She’s the Duchess, He’s the Duke, by The Duchess & The Duke- I first found out about this band when my British pen pal at the time mailed it to me knowing I would love it, and he was right. What really makes this album great to me are the ups and downs in moods. The album starts with Reservoir Park, which has a wonderfully depressing feel, and it ends with Armageddon Song, which is the happiest sounding song on the album. This record talks about love, hate, hating those you love and an internal turmoil. The overall feeling is like you should be listening to this around a campfire because of their minimalistic recording style, and gypsy/60s feel.
6. King of the Beach by Wavves- This record is so fun. Every time I hear it I feel like it’s a sunny day no matter what the weather is. I love the fuzz, surf, and its lo-fi qualities. This band has been very influential in my song writing the past few years. I’m a sucker for a surf rock beat with a touch of self-loathing. Every song on this album is great and makes me wish I were in California. I can’t help but mention how Nathan Williams can go perfectly from yelling, to falsetto “oohs,” to just straight up singing. This too has been one of the best albums to come out in the past ten years.
7. Dookie by Green Day- I have been in love with this record since I first “borrowed” the tape from my father in 4th I would put it on over and over and sing all the words, of course not really comprehending what those words actually meant. This album has held up very well over time, and I still rock out to it. Dentist has so much love for this album that we performed it for Halloween last year and had the best time doing so!
8. In Rainbows by Radiohead- In my opinion, the best Radiohead album. There is not a dull moment on this record. I loved the direction they were moving to when Kid A and OK Computer came out and was very excited when I first listened to In Rainbows because they absolutely nail the combo of pop and avant-garde.
9. Rumors by Fleetwood Mac- I’ve been listening to this album since I was a little girl and still love listening to it. From the picture on the cover to those sweet and impressive harmonies and guitar licks, it’s just the bee’s knees.
10. Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse- Modest Mouse is such an important band in my life that I felt like I needed to have two of their records on this list. To me, the Lonesome Crowded West is the epitome of 90’s indie rock. I love the way they wrote and sounded during this time period. The lyrics are so interesting, and I love his half screaming half singing style especially the use of it on this album. This record brings back great memories and Isaac Brock is my hero.
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