By Peter Lindblad
A psychedelic-pop “band,” in the loosest sense of the word, Chicago’s Netherfriends has been turning heads with their insanely infectious yet utterly distinctive ear candy.
Most often brought to life as a trio, Netherfriends is Shawn Rosenblatt’s playground. The singer/guitarist/keyboard player is also a master of utilizing samples to flesh out the group’s sound.
Netherfriends were recently signed by the indie lable Emergency Umbrella.
The 10 albums that changed his life:
The Zombies: Odessey And Oracle
[The] best ’60s psych-pop album. Some say [it’s the] most overrated, but I ask them to name a song that isn’t amazing on this album — timeless production.
Bob Dylan: Another Side of Bob Dylan
The complete opposite of what I do recording-wise, and [it] taught me that lyrics and melody will always be the most important aspect of a song.
Paul McCartney: RAM
My roommate bought this on record because he wanted to decorate our kitchen with funny album covers. I was scolded by a friend for destroying such a perfect pop album. Finally got around to listening to it and couldn’t agree more! I am pretty surprised this album wasn’t as huge as it should of been!
Sigur Ros: ( )
[The] first album I bought that wasn’t a rock/pop band. [It] inspired me to write syllabic lyrics.
Randy Newman: Sail Away
This is songwriting that should be studied in school! The orchestration will make you cry. It’s perfect, even if you don’t like his voice.
Animal Collective: Feels
[I] bought this record in high school because I liked the name of the band. The rest is history.
Jon Brion: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind soundtrack
This inspired me to pursue music composition. Unbelievably sad and powerful underscore to an all-right movie.
Panda Bear: Person Pitch
Nothing is better than hearing an album 2,000 times and finding new sounds with each listen.
Beach Boys: Friends/Smiley Smile
[Ed. note: This is a reissue of two earlier albums released as one in 1974]
[I] got this record on vinyl for free, and [it] finally confirmed that The Beach Boys’ best songs aren’t about the beach or summer. [I] spent most of summer 2007 with friends smoking hookah and listening to this record.
[The] most-listened-to album on my iTunes. This guy is a word artist! Closest thing to hip hop on my iPod.
Calling You Out is Netherfriends’ debut EP, and it’s a multi-layered affair, incorporating synthesizers, lonely piano and even glockenspiels to do Rosenblatt’s bidding. And, as his bio says, at the moment, he plays live with a number of different musical mercenaries.
Go to netherfriends.blogspot.com to read more musings from Rosenblatt and company.
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