Sound & Vision with Swimming Bell

While working on her debut album in Leeds, Brooklyn based songwriter, Katie Schottland, saw Wand perform at the Brudenell Social Club, and was inspired to record her take on their song, Driving.

Recording during the Wild Sight sessions, this Grouper-evoking take has been released today – following the critically acclaimed LP, which garnered love from Clash, Mojo and The Huffington Post. To mark the release of Driving, we caught up with Katie to find out what’s been inspiring her lately. These are her Sound & Vision picks:

Three of my favourite albums:

Graceland by Paul Simon

This record was played a lot in my house as a kid, but it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I really learned to appreciate it.  It came back into my life during a time of transition and unknowns.  I was moving to New York on a whim and leaving behind the career path that I had started on.  This record comforted and excited my heart during that time.

Sea Change by Beck

Sea Change is the ultimate breakup record.  Fortunately, when I first heard it and got into it, I wasn’t going through a breakup.  I think what got me about this album was Beck’s ability to create intimacy and grandeur all at once.  I first started listening to Sea Change when I was in my early twenties, before I started playing music.  It’s a record that I would always come back to, and when I started recording my own music is one that I often referenced for things. Like the dreamy pedal steel, the super dry drums, and the moments of strange sounds. It’s just so beautiful.

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

When Oli Deakin (Lowpines) and I were making the record, we recorded in both Leeds and London, while also playing shows together, so we were driving around a lot. The only CD we had in his car was Dark Side of the Moon.  We had borrowed a burned version from his friend in Leeds. It was a big inspiration on my record, Wild Sight released last April. Since then, Oli has sold his car, but he had forgotten to take out the CD!  I just hope whoever bought the car can appreciate such an epic record.

One favourite book:

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

I’ve read this book about three times.  It’s a memoir about a girl growing up in what was Rhodesia, and now Zimbabwe.  There is a matter-of-factness to her writing as she describes the tragedies that she and her family experienced.  At the same time, her descriptions are palpable and stunning.

One favourite film:

It’s hard to say currently what my favourite film is, but for a long time (through my twenties), my favourite film was All the Real Girls.  It’s a quiet and rather slow movie about a small town in the south.  I just love the cinematography and the setting. It’s a great cast of indie actors, but before they had become well known.

One song that’s important to me:

I can say one song that is important to me personally. The first song I can remember, that still has great influence and meaning to me, is Hush-a-Bye by Peter, Paul, and Mary.  This was our lullaby growing up. My mom would sing it to us every night and was so comforting and calming.  As I got older and would learn the song better, my mom and I would sing it together (we still do) and she would harmonise to me.  Not only is it near to my heart because of my mom, but it was also my first experience with harmonies, and influenced how I hear, write, and produce music today.

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