Records That Changed My Life with Lightning Pill

I’m Lightning Pill, a 28-year old keyboardist/singer-songwriter from Boston, MA. The genre I take on is primarily bedroom psyche-pop music. These albums influenced me not only to make music, but also my tastes and the music I make now.

Lightning Pill music

Billy Bragg – Mr. Love & Justice (2008)

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The story may seem incredibly cliché, but Billy Bragg came to me at a fairly uncomfortable point in my college career. I went through a breakup, and I was just picturing lyrics aplenty. I listened to a few Billy Bragg tunes after hearing he was a “punk rock treasure” of sorts. The electric guitar strums and his raw, British vocals without even a band behind him somehow inspired me to want to take up the guitar and write my own songs. Hearing him own whatever imperfection there was in his voice inspired me to try and sing myself.

Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase (2005)

Other than making mostly acoustic music, I also played around with making electronic “symphonies.” This album is one of three that came out to influence how I arrange electronic music. The songs on this album are as dreamy as they are droning, and any time I produce an instrumental (I make beats, too!), I would never ever do it without matching the spacy-ness or the emotional heights of at least one of the tracks on this record.

Busdriver – RoadkillOvercoat (2007)

Like Boards of Canada, this album influenced my way of producing instrumentals. While everyone constantly does trap music, some of Busdriver’s choices in beats range from indie pop to hip-hop. He manages not only to meet it all, but he also shows that he can rap and sing at the same time. Not to mention, nowadays, he also makes beats! 😀

Eels – Meet the Eels (2008)

Eels was the band that not only showed that writing your own songs was fine, but there is a vulnerability, an honesty in being a singer-songwriter, with or without a band. I own every eels album up to Tomorrow Morning, and it gave me the courage to pick up either a guitar or keyboard and start writing songs with feeling again. Trust, there was a time where I was really afraid to do that.

Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump (2000)

I always liked to say that with this record, Grandaddy invented a genre: space folk. This album came to me when I was slowly having a falling out with my guitar, guitars in general and, really, with rock music. I literally can’t listen to your average indie rock album anymore. But it inspired me to take as many adventures as my keyboard will allow me to take.

Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

…and in the midst of exploring all of my options with four of my keyboards, I listen to the Flaming Lips. It seems that every Flaming Lips album I hear finds them experimenting not only with ways to make a song, but with ways to produce guitars and keyboards. Whether they are fuzzed out, spacey or delicate, Flaming Lips furthered my interest in wanting to explore the millions of ways I can write a good song, whether it be rock, pop, soul or whatever pops up at the time.

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