Signed to the wonderful Sad Club Records, London based four piece, BUGS, recently put out their new single, Nick Gowland – a slow-beat, death wish to bullies and those that are generally inconsiderately aggressive towards others. As huge fans, we couldn’t wait to hear what influenced their lead singer, Alice Western.
These are Alice’s Sound & Vision picks:
– Three favourite albums
Ok, this question is actually a lot harder than you think it’s going to be because, at first, I was just thinking about albums I really liked, but then I started thinking about which albums I have listened to the most and have had the biggest impact on me. And then I started thinking if I could only listen to three albums forever, which would they be and then I just started think about all my favourite albums ever and then I made a playlist of them. I don’t think these three albums encapsulated my whole music taste at all, but I tried to choose the three that have had the biggest musical impact on me.
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
I watched The Beatles’ film, Yellow Submarine, when I was a child and I became really obsessed with it, and from that became very obsessed with The Beatles when I was about six. (I once cried in my room because John Lennon and George Harrison were dead and I used to save up my pocket money to buy Beatles albums on CD – second hand on eBay). I got the album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Remastered) on CD for Christmas when I was eight or nine, and I remember listening to it again and again on my portable CD player on car journeys and just in my room, and listening to it on the computer. I’ve always been a kind of obsessive listener and will listen to something again and again and again when I really like it: Sgt Peppers was probably the only thing I listened to for about two years.
Bringing it All Back Home / Blood On The Tracks by Bob Dylan
I continued the theme of being a weathered 60 year old rocker trapped inside the body of a child as I aged, and through my love of The Beatles and other 60s bands, I discovered Bob Dylan when I was a teenager. I included two albums, but I think they can be counted as the same entry because they both begin with the letter B. I love them for different reasons – Bringing It All Back Home feels like some kinda of manic collection of messy genius and it feels youthful and exciting, but Blood On The Tracks feels more crafted and a bit more mature and kinda more sluggish and sad. Coincidentally ‘manic’ and ‘sluggish’ are also my only two moods. This is maybe why I enjoy these albums in combination so much. I also decided to continued my trend of only listening to one artists for a few years, so between the ages of 14 – 16, I think I exclusively Listened to Bob Dylan.
Blond by Frank Ocean
Finally, some bloody VARIETY! Yes, thank god, I finally broke free from my ‘pre-80s music only’ shackles and EMBRACED the world of other music!! This album is important to me for so many reasons. I never get sick of this album and I think it suits so many moods and situations. (when I say ‘many moods and situations’, I of course mean manic or sluggish only: my two favourite moods). This album is so smart and so emotional and there’s so much that can be said in terms of production, songwriting and arranging. It’s been out for four years and I feel like I’m still noticing things I hadn’t noticed before, and to me thats the sign of something really brilliant and kind of timeless – it still feels relevant, but I can still find something new in it upon re-listening.
– One film that I love
I watched it for the first time last year and then re-watched it twice more because I really enjoyed it. A heartwarming tale about someone with a dream who makes it against all the odds, and that person is a rat. I had six pet rats as a child and my first email address made at the age of ten was email@example.com. Fine dining, the streets of Paris, and the underdog ending up on top and taking over the restaurant – what’s not to like? Me and a good friend have plans for project ‘Ratatouille The Musical’. You can expect this is 2021. Maybe 2022 depending on where we decide to take the plot line. Masterchef Rat Edition is another rat inspired idea I’m also holding onto. If anyone reading this knows how to make this dream a reality – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– One book I love
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My longest standing favourite book. I read it when I was 18 and I decided to read it because I thought the name was interesting; I didn’t know anything about Vonnegut or the book. The way Vonnegut wrote about the monstrosities of the second world war combined with science fiction and time travel blew my mind and expanded my understanding of narrative and repetition. I’ve never really been into science fiction, and if I know that this book was partly science fiction infused I probably wouldn’t have read it and I’m so glad I read it because it really changed the way I thought about literature. The use of nonsense as a literary device and the significance of phrases like ‘so it goes’ to represent heinous realities is so clever. I also enjoy the fact that the book was banned from Oklahoma County for being ‘depraved, immoral, psychotic, vulgar, and anti-Christian’. They should put that on the blurb of the book. Being banned by Oklahoma state is a standard all writing should strive for.
– One song that’s important
Born Ticking by Viewfinder is a song I heard a while ago but only properly listened to last year and it holds a lot of meaning for me. We played with Viewfinder the year before last, and I don’t know what happened to them because that was my first and last time seeing them. I’d not really listened to them before that, and it took me a while to give their album a proper listen. In strange turn of events, I ended up painting the front room of someone I loosely knew to earn some extra cash just as finished my last year of university and was going through some intense heart break. I had this awful unsteady feeling that everything familiar was being snatched from under me and I felt pretty mixed up about it all. I was alone in their house painting this large room for a few days, and for the majority of it I listened to the album Born Ticking while crying and furiously pushing white emulsion onto a wall with a roller. I think the song Born Ticking has some really incredible lyrics and it’s a song I’ve continued to listen to and have a connect with even while I’m not crying covered in white paint.
‘So far has it come,
so deep has it sunk,
and buried beneath,
all the crap and the junk,
that funnelled itself,
from the sky since the start,
into the mouth the babe freshly bawling,
I think those lyrics are really fucking good.
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