The editors are stepping down this week and handing the playlist reins over to Conditions, who are set to release their new album next week (March 26). They gave us this list of songs that were essential listening during the recording of Full Of War.
Brandon Roudtree, vocals
RADIOHEAD – “All I Need”
This song is a must-have for me to kick off the creative process. Not only are Radiohead my favorite band and perpetual daily soundtrack, this song in particular awakens something in me that I cannot explain. If you don't listen to this song and get inspired, then I feel sorry for you, especially when the song explodes at 2:45. If you don't smile or close your eyes or feel something change in you, well, no comment
THE KILLERS – “Runaways”
Right before we went into the studio to record Full Of War, I got my hands on Battle Born and was immediately blown away. I've always enjoyed this band and appreciated the 40-minute or so mini-journeys that are their albums. “Runaways” is a perfect anthem to blast while driving fast, which we did the whole way up to the studio. Every time we were in a car for the whole month of October, we were singing and pantomiming like a pack of sorority girls.
SHARKS – “Luck”
I just love this band. Their sound is so needed. They're so timeless, making them the perfect soundtrack to anything. I listen to this song when I am happy, when I work out, when I'm making dinner, etc. “Luck” is the type of song every band should strive to write. It’s a song that makes other musicians wonder what it felt like to know a band just finished that song.
MASSIVE ATTACK – “Teardrop”
Songs like this are imperative in the studio. Flawless performance and perfect production that should make any musician frenzied to meet the quality. I hear this song and hope to sing even half as beautifully as the angelic voice of Elizabeth Fraser does. Aside from the inspiration, this is just a wonderfully calming song. Something that anyone who has been holed up in a studio for long lengths knows is very much needed as a respite from the constant brain tearing of creation.
THE NATIONAL – “Conversation 16”
I whole heartedly believe lyrics should complement music and vice versa. The National does this perfectly. Their lyrics and phrasing will always marry well with the tones and structure of their songs, and this sets the stage for complete connection. I strive for this very phenomenon in the music I make. This song is just so brutally honest and hauntingly cool.
BLACK SABBATH – “Heaven and Hell”
Dio blows Ozzy out of the water. There, I said it. Ronnie James Dio is up there in the sky, part of constellation badass with Freddie Mercury and the like, looking down and laughing at all of us attempting to sing. Tony Iommi practically invented the blueprint for the heavy riff and Dio complements this undeniably. This song perpetually inspires me to do my best with anything musical I attempt.
TRAGEDY – “Vengeance”
I love this band because they are so secretive. I love what they do because I find beauty in how heavy they are. There really is nothing like being enveloped in heavy, tragic, textural soundscapes. I love this particular song because it immediately crushes you with a gargantuan galloping rhythm. My band will tell you that my only input on new songs being built is to “perhaps make it a galloping rhythm.” Hasn't happened yet, but I will keep pushing.
THIS WILL DESTROY YOU – “A Three-Legged Workhorse”
I feel like I can do anything while this song is on repeat. I've run four miles with this song on repeat multiple times. I call it “Kinetic Meditation.” I lose myself in this song way too easily. I often put this on repeat and write to it. This track instantaneously fills my head with visions and provides me with incredible focus in sorting ideas. No matter where I am, if I am listening to this song, I am not in the room. I am miles and miles away.
LETLIVE. – “Muther”
There’s such a raw and invigorating energy to every aspect of this band. I'd go as far as to call them masters of their genre. “Muther” is another perfect marriage of sound and lyrics. Perpetual chills and shoving inspiration. This song will make you want to spew brutally honest emotion just like Jason Butler does. It's a beautiful thing to feel live connection lace itself within the grooves of recorded music. These guys nail it.
NIKI AND THE DOVE – “In Our Eyes”
I listen to a lot of electronic music because I appreciate how much these artists think about one track at a time. There’s so much texture that I often find something new each time I return to a track after leaving it alone for a while. This song is pure enjoyment for me and I am addicted to the vocal patterns. My band makes fun of how “European girl” my music taste can be. They're just not as liberated as I am.