Sound & Vision </br>with Zelma Stone

Just a couple of weeks back, Bandcamp wavered their fees – meaning artists got 100% of the money – thus helping independent musicians during this time of increased pressure due to record shops being closed, and the inability to tour. On hearing about this, the first thing we did was head over to Zelma Stone’s page to buy a copy of her recently self-released Dreamland EP. Which, to our ears, is one of the best new releases this year.

Having loved Stone’s music so much, we were desperate to hear what influenced the Californian’s songwriting. These are her Sound & Vision picks:

Three favourite albums –

a-sides and b-sides – Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek

I am so inspired by the way this record makes me feel. I think Adrianne and Buck both have such a gift and their voices sound beautiful together. I am unsure of when I first came across this record, but I know I discovered it around the same time that I began listening to Big Thief. When I first heard Adrianne Lenker’s voice and songwriting, I was starstruck. I could relate to her lyrics and also create my own meanings in a way that felt so personal. I find her music to be very healing for listeners—and for herself as well, I’m sure. I feel similarly about Buck Meek’s solo project too. This collaborative album is a special collection of songs.

Freedom – Amen Dunes

THIS. IS. MY. JAM.. This is my go to’“feeling really good while cleaning my room and dancing with myself’ album. I first heard this album about a year ago when a friend sent it over. I was immediately hooked and inspired. I LOVE the production. Specifically, I admire the steadiness and simplicity of the drums and guitar. I think it definitely inspired the feel for some of my Dreamland EP in terms of the songwriting and production style.

Getz/Gilberto – Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto ft. Antonio Carlos Jobim

I have vivid memories of listening to bossanova music around the house as a kid. I remember the music making me feel extremely content and peaceful. I would daydream about my future, and specifically had this romantic vision of wanting so badly to be an adult sitting in a robe, listening to music and drinking coffee while reading the newspaper by a window. I also remember being frustrated because I wanted to hear more of this kind of music, but that I didn’t know the name of it… I thought it was just considered ‘jazz music’. I would only learn that it was called ‘bossanova’ years later when I was a teenager.

It’s funny thinking back on this now. I remember trying to explain to my parents the way the music made me feel, and the dissatisfaction of thinking they just couldn’t understand. It was a difficult feeling to define and it seemed very specific to me. It was almost like it reminded me of a past life or something. I am having trouble even describing it now. All I know is that it’s a really good nostalgic feeling, and that this Stan Getz record specifically evokes it for me.

One favourite film – Harold and Maude

I love this movie so much. I love how the story depicts such a special relationship, and also has an interesting outlook on death. I admire Maude’s character and think she holds many characteristics that we could learn from.

One favourite book – The Giving Tree

I have memories of my dad reading this book to me very often as a kid. It is pretty powerful when a children’s book can make a grown adult reflect and cry on life. This book taught me one of the most important lessons in life: gratitude. I had a treehouse growing up, and considered that oak tree in our front yard to be my giving tree. It symbolises so much to me. The front cover of the Dreamland EP is actually a picture of my treehouse.

One song that means a lot to you –

Crazy – both the Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline versions

This song is very special to me because it reminds me of my Grandpa Bob. He would play this song often, along with many other classics, when I was a kid. For Christmas one year, I recorded a cover of it as a gift to him. He cried and hugged me, and his reaction is still so memorable to me. I could see how much it meant to him and how proud he felt.

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