Under The Influence

Under The Influence: The Drums Portamento

You’ve streamed the Drums’ new record, Portamento, and now lead singer Jonny Pierce offers us a virtual mixtape’s worth of tunes that influenced the Portamento’s sounds and songs. Here’s Pierce!

1. Theremin – Clara Rockmore plays “The Swan”
I first found Clara Rockmore when I ordered a Moog Theremin as a teenage. They sent along with the theremin a VHS of Clara Rockmore playing this mysterious instrument. Here’s a clip of Clara playing The Swan while her sister accompanies her on the piano. Haunting and inspiring.

2. Crash Course In Science – Cardboard Lamb
If this was made today, I would be annoyed, but it was made a long time ago and it’s really quite amazing. Cardboard Lamb.

3. Xeno and Oaklander – “Sentielle”
This sounds like nothing on our album, but I think we were looking to go a little colder and a little darker and, I think maybe we did? This band is amazing live and on record.

4. Switched On Bach
I bought Switched On Bach on vinyl over a dozen times as a kid. Both Jacob and I fell madly in love with the mystery of Wendy Carlos. I read somewhere that this album outsold any other artist in the 60’s — including The Beatles. Oh, Wendy… Where did you go?

5. Ciccone Youth – “Into The Groove(y)”
I can’t find the actual music video for this, but I’ll describe it. Something like an extremely good looking skinhead-type taking a bubble bath and then moshing around. It works well with this great remake of the Madonna classic.

6. Blueboy – “So Catch Him”
I consider this the best Sarah Records release ever. A song like this does not come along often. I love when grown men can be this open. “Did you care when I cut my hair / Cause I wanted you to!” That’s crazy.

7. Joel Alme – “When Old Love Keeps You Waiting”
Why does no one care about Joel Alme? If I could recommend one album in the last five years, it would be Joel Alme “Waiting for the Bells”. Beautiful songs from a transparent man who very clearly has a broken heart.

8. Modern Hut – “Life”
I know this is not a you tube link, but this song can’t be found on YouTube. This song is about coming to terms with life and death and while I found this song after the recording of Portamento, it really hits me hard.

10. Slowdive – “Shine”
Ah let’s end this nicely. This video and this song are perfect.

Portamento is out 9/13 on Frenchkiss.

Tags: The Drums