Mary Epworth’s Influences

maryep2As part of our Featured Act rota, May’s winner Mary Epworth gives her penultimate bow out – a comprehensive look at the artists that have influenced her and her music.

Ranging from star lit popstrels, beach wave pioneers and down and out psych-garage bands, and featuring household names rubbing shoulders with the lesser known, but equally as impressive, the playlist is explained in Mary’s own words below!

The Ballroom – Baby Please Don’t Go
This is a Curt Boettcher production from about 1966.  I like to play it to people who wonder why I go on about “old music” all the time. It sounds so fresh and exciting, if it was released now it would still sound modern.

Dennis Wilson – Moonshine
Will (my producer and a member of The Jubilee Band) and I met and bonded over a cassette of Pacific Ocean Blue. This album is a big part of my life, and the warm synth bass and gospel vocals are a big influence for this album, that and the amount of sheer soul in Dennis’s lovely cracked voice.

Vanilla Fudge – You keep me hanging on
The main thing I take from Vanilla Fudge, is that slow can be heavy. Got to love Mark Steins mega tremelo vocals.

The Beach Boys – Leaving this town for another one
I absolutely adore the Beach Boys, and for a fan there are so many eras and niches of their career to nerd about, it’s hard to narrow down to a few tracks. This one in particular, from Holland, features Blondie Chaplin, one of two band members recruited from South Africa. The pace and weight of this track, and slow soulfulness was a huge influence.

Colin Blunstone – Caroline Goodbye
Will and I went to see Colin a few months ago, his voice always has been a national treasure, and if anything he is sounding better with age. How he is not a household name is quite beyond me. So tender and soulful, it just slays me. It’s always Zombies o’clock in my house.

Gene Clark – No Other
This is the other record, along with Pacific Ocean Blue, that has always been there as a huge inspiration. I love Gene Clark’s work so much, and the fantastic over the top tastelessness of “No Other” is just so exciting. I think people worry about being tasteful a bit too much.

Sagittarius – The truth is not real
Not much I can say about this one, it’s just outstanding. Curt Boettcher and Gary Usher’s studio project, they managed to capture so much magic on this track, and the album “Present Tense” is a stone cold classic.

Margo Guryan – Love Songs
Layers of gossamer-soft vocals, lovely baroque arrangements, this is pop perfection.

Iggy Pop- The Endless Sea
I got into solo Iggy in a big way when I was a teen, and then wasn’t sure if it was actually any good or not, or if I had just liked it because I was young and hadn’t heard much else. It really is great. I love The Idiot, but New Values has the edge on it for me because it sounds accidentally edgy and odd, like he’s trying to make classic White soul but is just too eccentric and dark to pull it off. The sound of this album was a big influence, the whiny synths, the lovely cardboardy krautrock drums, and the overall feeling of claustrophobia. I even toyed with calling the album “Old Values”.

The Beach Boys – Let us go on this way
Will and I are both Beach Boys nerds, and spend a lot of time talking about them. He’s been evangelising about “Love you” since we first met. It took me a while to get it, and for some fans it’s a step too far, but now I absolutely love it. It has so many incredible and hilarious moments. This album is the reason almost every track on mine has a big fat synth bass on it.

Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me
Todd is God. I just bought tickets to see him play in October, and I’m ridiculously excited. I love the way he manages to write absolutely classic songs, but seems somehow to never be boring or slick in approach. Todd is in my “how to cope with writing lots of ballads” handbook.

American Spring – Sweet Mountain
Brian Wilson produces an album for his wife Marilyn and her sister Diane. Just listen to this track. So spooky and claustrophobic and wonderful, and oh look, synth bass!

Ramases – Long long time
Martin Raphael from Sheffield has a messianic awakening, and emerges as the reincarnation of the Egyptian god Ramases. Records two fantastic proggy albums full of songs like this. We took some photos of him, Curt Boettcher, Dennis Wilson, Joe Meek and Jobriath to the studio with us for inspiration.

Judy Henske and Jerry Yester – Three Ravens
Farewell Aldebaran is such an outstanding album, I found it hard to pick one track, but thought this might be good to show exactly what kind of “folk” I really am influenced by.

Aphrodite’s Child – End of the world
What a band!

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.