Manchester Trio Forty Four Hours released their debut EP, ‘Only Just Holding On’, last Friday, 22 January. We caught up with band member Joe Holden, and asked for his Essential Weekly Playlist. Enjoy!
The Police – ‘Regatta De Blanc’
This was the start of pretty much everything! When I was about seven, my mother took me and my brother off to rural Wales for a holiday, and brought with her ‘The Best of Sting & The Police’… and this pretty much stayed on repeat in the car all the way there, wherever we went, all the way back. My Dad found out about it and introduced me to their albums, one by one…’Outlandos D’amour’ being the first, but ‘Regatta De Blanc’ was the one which really blew my tiny mind away, where Sting, Andy & Stewart really got to set loose with an equal blend of each others’ talents and weirdness. The chord shapes Andy uses, to Sting’s syncopated bass lines, to Stewart’s offset reggae beats pretty much set the foundations for what we do in our own little band. I must’ve listened to this album hundreds of times, but somehow it’s always surprising me: I’m always hearing new stuff I’d never heard before hidden in the tracks.
Billy Talent – ‘II’
I actually heard ‘Red Flag’ from this album when I must’ve been, what… fourteen? It was on the soundtrack to some snowboarding video game called ‘SSX: On Tour’ (I rinsed that thing)…I think ever since, I’ve been trying to replicate how that track made me feel the first time I heard it. It’s so clean, yet so aggressive. The whole album is such a unique sound from start to finish. I just love everything about this album. You can probably hear Ian D’Sa’s guitar work all over the parts we right. Damn.
Blink-182 – ‘(eponymous)’
I was late to Blink-182, having been a metalhead when everyone else was into these guys, I only stumbled across this album in 2011 when I was working full time in some crap college job. I’m pretty sure this album kept me going and it became the soundtrack to my next year or so. Again, it’s one of those albums I can listen to and think, “Damn, I wish I could put together something as awesome and beautifully cohesive as this”. Just like Billy Talent II, I’ve been chasing the way it made me feel ever since. I still have demos on my laptop from that summer, tunes and tunes which sounded, uh…pretty much exactly like Blink. Travis is probably the biggest influence on the drum parts Alix and I write for our songs.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’
I used to be really into the funk. Still am. But this album is the cradle of funk aggression. My Stepdad turned me on to these guys when I was eight. “Mum…what does ‘Californication’ mean?” was one SUPER awkward conversation. I became a disciple of Flea’s thumb, and later John’s beautiful guitar playing.
Beastie Boys – ‘Ill Communication’
No introductions needed. None of my friends really get Hip-hop and I get funny looks when I’m blasting these guys or NWA, but the raw energy gets to me: in that respect Hip-hop is just like punk rock. But I guess I found it really endearing that these guys used to be a hardcore punk band, and could play all their own instruments.
Sia – ‘1000 Forms of Fear’
My ultimate pop album. I can relate to every single song on this album and it gives me the shivers every time. I guess Sia opened the doors for my own writing and made me realise I could actually write about what I was going through at any given time, and that what I was feeling was actually valid… I could go as dark as I liked. The way her voice breaks up gives me goosebumps. Amazing lyrics, beautiful choruses.
The Police – ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’
I’m not even sorry, I had to put another Police album in here. You get the idea, I can’t get enough of the Police. Please refer to point #1.
Enter Shikari – ‘Common Dreads’
Most people would probably put ‘Take To The Skies’ here, which is in it’s own regard a work of art, but this album is the soundtrack to my summer 2009. My old band pretty much wanted to be Enter Shikari, and it showed. It’s such a furious and anthemic album from four lovely, honest chaps from St Albans. After a while ‘Common Dreads’ really unhooked my writing, and gave me revelation that really, I could write whatever I damn well wanted.
Incubus – ‘Make Yourself’
This album, or really any Incubus album. I saw there’s a best of album, so that’d cover it pretty well. Equal parts beautiful melodies, jazz fusion and funk/metal fury with a heaping of hip-hop in there for good measure… I can’t help but always be amazed at the craziness Incubus manage to pull off, and I’ll always be in awe of their musicianship. Again, I’m always hearing new stuff in their music.
Maroon 5 – ‘Songs About Jane’
Sheer sass from start to finish. Every song on here is jaw dropping, and it’s right up there as my feelgood album. I sure hope my neighbours like Maroon 5…they don’t really have a choice in the matter anyway.
There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.
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