MIXTAPE: Daniel Land & The Modern Painters: Tracks that inspired their second album

daniel land modern painters promo shot

Beguiling Manchester gazers Daniel Land & The Modern Painters have announced the release of their second album ‘The Space Between Us’ on 28th May through Club AC30. To celebrate they’ve kindly sent us a playlist of ‘Tracks That Inspired Their Album.’ Watch and read about them below.

Recorded and mixed by Daniel Land at a 500 year old cottage in the Cheshire countryside, ‘The Space Between Us’ is, in Daniel’s words, ‘more collaborative than our debut; even the songs that I wrote on my own were written with one eye on how we play as a live band; the range of things we can do. The faster songs are faster and the slower songs slower; there’s a greater dynamic range’. Another change from first album ‘Love Songs For The Chemical Generation’ is a more adventurous approach to instrumentation, with harpsichords, accordions and mandolins punctuating the more familiar lush guitars and roving basslines that characterised their music to date.
You can listen to the single ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ now here: http://soundcloud.com/charmfactory/daniel-land-the-modern-7/s-1bBTB (Released on Record Store Day – 21st April).



Washed Out – Soft http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGqLpgiY-M My bandmate Oisin and I saw Washed Out at the Deaf Institute in Manchester last year; we’re both big fans and had already been experimenting with old samplers and synths and things like that for the new Painters album. The recent Washed Out album was on heavy rotation when I was writing “Sleeping With The Past”, I was trying to listen to things that were upbeat but still sort of euphoric and dreamy, so I’m pretty sure some of that rubbed off…

Peter Gabriel – Secret World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN1zO-ejJvE This track is from his album “Us”, which is his divorce album, basically. It’s always been in my top five favourite albums. But I think it was only when I was having a bit of a difficult time personally, and writing the lyrics for “The Space Between Us” that I finally made the emotional connection to this record. It was a massive influence on my lyrics, for sure.

Jane Siberry – The Life Is The Red Wagon http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xktf9o_jane-siberry-the-life-is-the-red-wagon_music Possibly a candidate for the world’s biggest name-drop, but here goes… we were lucky enough to host a concert by Jane Siberry at my house in the summer of 2010 – she actually performed about seventy of these house-concerts around the world. She’s always been one of my favourite artists, and this is my favourite album of hers – its influence can perhaps be credited (or blamed!) for my persistent and frequent attempts to introduce the accordion into tracks of ours like “Echo & Narcissus” and “Starfish Fucking” – no doubt much to the consternation of everyone else in the band…

Arto Lindsay – Simply Are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8J787Grjcc Arto Linday’s work has been a big discovery and joy for me over the last year; I really love the combination of dreamy Brazillian music with the sort of avant garde/noise elements he brings forward from his days in DNA. I was massively into world music in my teens and over the last year or so I’ve been really getting interested in Brazillian music again, and I think you can hear some of that in the percussion sections for new tracks like “Lovelife”, which are built up mainly out of Latin percussion instruments. We’ve avoided attempting to replicate his ridiculous guitar tuning though…

Chris Isaak – Wicked Game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAOxCqSxRD0 Oisin suggested this track. A great choice; I’d say a few of our tracks have been inspired by it in one way or another. It sounds like such an effortless recording; we were massively surprised recently to read that this was a studio piece, painfully constructed with samplers and multiple takes and lots of editing – something that was still quite unusual for the time. Still a classic though!

Joni Mitchell – Jericho http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgEiGJid9_U I’ve always loved Joni Mitchell’s work, but during the time when I was writing the lyrics for the album I really into a lot of her mid-period stuff, and was enjoying the third-person narrative, conversational quality of that stuff, and how sometimes whole conversations are somehow dissolved into the lyrics. I’m no way near talented enough to pull off a trick like that, but that approach inspired a couple of tracks on the new record (“Echo & Narcissus” and “The Hawk & The Nightingale”, for example) which are written as a dialogue, in quotation marks, a kind of conversation between two people.

Brian Eno – “Here He Comes” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31P1F1q5sGM There’s not much going on in terms of chords in this song, and I like the way that makes your ear focus on the clever and detailed arrangement – the interplay of different groups of instruments coming in and out and clustering together. I think I was trying to achieve something like this with the arrangement of the new Painters track “The Hawk & The Nightingale” – in that track, the first set of chords repeat without change for a full three minutes and there’s all kinds of changes in the instrumentation during that time; this track was very influential from a structural point of view.

Elsiane – Vaporous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u8wpqbYFNI I don’t know a huge amount about the band apart from this one track, but I was listening to this a lot last year, and just thought that the bass playing on the track is phenomenal – a really interesting playing style, and a nice mix of electric bass and some higher fretless bass stuff. The singer has an astonishing voice as well.

The Blue Nile – The Downtown Lights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_MJQJjjX0 Quite simply one of the best voices of all time, singing one of the best songs of all time, and put together with some of the best production of all time. The Blue Nile are a constant influence.

Leaves – Shakma (Drunken Starlit Sky) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew6VVnqK1r0 This album came out in 2005, and in the time since I think Leaves have fallen from favour in some ways. I’ve always had a soft spot for it though, I like the way they sound somewhere between the other Icelandic bands like Sigur Ros and people like Doves. I was listening to it a lot around the time I was sketching the chords out for tracks like “The Silver Medal” – this is a live version of one of my favourite tracks from the album.

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