Bringing his UK Indie heritage to New York back in 2011, Welsh native Matthew Hitt assembled Jack Ridley III (guitar, vocals,) Erik Lee Snyder (bass,) and later, Daniel Jacobs (drums) to bring his witty songcraft to life. And so, Drowners was born. Several years later – and a stunning, self titled debut record behind them – and the guitar-faithful crew are getting set to drop their sophomore effort, On Desire, this summer.
Heavy on the kind of boldly alternative charm you venerated during your misspent adolescence in alt outfits like The Strokes and The Vaccines, Drowners’ stubborn refusal to compromise on their classic Indie sound is something of a blessing in an age when everyone fancies themselves as a retro-digital, nu-80s synth popper.
Fittingly enough, the playlist Drowners have concocted for us is a peek into their own key inspirations – from Bowie to Donna Summer, it’s pure late-70s goodness that’s sometimes moody, sometimes dancey, but always addictive and nostalgic. Plug in, read on and enjoy:
Black Flag – Nervous Breakdown
Originally released in ’79, here’s a live version of the anxiety ridden classic. With Henry Miller monologue introduction – “Tonight I shall meditate upon that which I am”
Gang of Four – Damaged Goods
No one combined raw punk energy and angular danceable grooves the way Gang of Four did. “Your kiss so sweet. Your sweat so sour”… speaks truth.
Donna Summer – Walk Away
So cold yet so hot at the same time – “Next time there won’t be no next time. Save all my feelings for me”
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream
When a band can be so threatening yet make such melodic music. Suicide were complete originals. First released in ’79 as a single follow up to their debut. Here’s a live version.
David Bowie – Red Money
Unbelievably funky. First performed here in 1976 by Bowie as ‘Sister Midnight’. Then release by Iggy Pop in 1977. And reworked as ‘Red Money’ for 1979’s ‘Lodger’.
Sparks – La Dolce Vita
Sonically, this song is insane. Dance-ably, this song is insane. Just try not to move when you listen in headphones. Thank you Giorgio Moroder.
Talking Heads – Cities
We all need a city to live in. From 1979’s ‘Fear of Music’
Magazine – Rhythm of Cruelty
Magazine are too often overlooked. From 1979’s “Secondhand Daylight”
Fleetwood Mac – Storms
“Every night you do not come, your softness fades away” – Songs don’t come more sad and beautiful than this.
Joy Division – Disorder
Joy Division had the ability to evoke such complex emotions. ‘Disorder’ expresses that deeply. This song and band were a massive influence on the making of our new record ‘ON DESIRE’.