Following the successful release of debut, Carve Every Word in 2015, Katie Buchan – aka Best Girl Athlete – returns with her brand new album, the self-titled Best Girl Athlete, out on 2nd October 2017 via Fitlike Records.
Katie has taken time out of her busy schedule to share her most inspirational tracks for this week’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records…
Regina Spector – Us
This song brings back some good memories for me. I listened to this song a lot when I first met my significant other and since then, my songwriting has been influenced by this relationship but also by this song. It’s very uplifting and to me it represents unity and being with someone you love which is definitely what was a driving factor in my writing at that time.
The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child
This is my favourite song. I first heard it through watching Guardians of the Galaxy, which may I say, has an absolutely banging soundtrack and you should definitely listen to it, but as soon as I heard it I loved it. One of my favourite aspects of that track is the brass, which I definitely took inspiration from when we were thinking of instrumentation for our new single, In Your Head. I generally think brass on any song sounds great and gives a cool vibe.
Willow Smith – Wait A Minute
Willow is an artist that I really look up to. She’s a young female who is an extremely talented songwriter and she empowers me as a young female artist. I really admire that although she has the option to use songwriters she mainly writes all her own music, and I instantly really liked this song, her vocals just seem so mature for her age.
Christine and the Queens – IT
Christine and the Queens is a fantastic band, and again is a female artist who again makes me feel empowered as a female artist. I heard this song when I was playing a gig at Jupiter Artland, near Edinburgh, and the sounds intrigued me. I definitely think that in more recent Best Girl Athlete we’ve incorporated more synth into the songs and hearing this song has definitely broadened my musical taste.
Lana Del Rey – Freak
This, in my opinion, is one of the most Bond-esque songs to not actually appear in a Bond film. I loved the string section in this song and I think that on our new album, we wanted to use the strings to create an uplifting, cinematic feel, quite similar to this song, and a lot of other Lana Del Rey songs. When we were in discussion with our producer about what influences we wanted to use for instrumentation ideas on a lot of our new songs, Lana Del Rey was a main reference points. We certainly attempted to achieve that epic Bond feel on the outro of the track ‘Join the Masons’, which I must credit Pete Harvey with achieving.
Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington – Them Changes
I love this song because it’s so different to anything that I’ve ever heard. It’s probably one of the first songs I’ve heard that has such an imposing and catchy bassline and I would say that it definitely encouraged me to take more musical risks in my songwriting and provided some direction for thinking about the musicians that contribute to our songs. And have you seen the video for it? It’s mental!
Passion Pit – Moths Wings
Similar to Freak by Lana Del Rey, this is a very uplifting song and never fails to make me feel inspired. There are just some songs which make you feel really good and this is one of them, and I used to listen to this song a lot when I was feeling down. Everyone needs a song like this in their record box!
The Smiths – Asleep
Asleep is beautifully simple, and made me appreciate creating a song that doesn’t have to be all singing and dancing. Sometimes, just a voice and a piano is all you need to effectively convey what you’re trying to say. Asleep made me start thinking about the idea of less being more and I wrote ‘Silver City’ from the new album, using this idea and which is about the city of Aberdeen and how dreich it can be. Originally written on guitar, our talented friend Callum Peterkin from Tryptamines arranged the piano track in a beautiful way that perfectly matched the sentiment of the song.
Taro – Alt-J
I listened to a lot of Alt-J when I was 13/14 and first started getting involved in music, and this had a huge impact on the style of music I was starting to write and compose. I chose this song in particular because it has a really interesting back story about the love between one of the first female photojournalists and her war photographer partner who both died during separate battles they had been covering. It always inspires me to hear their story, and that they were so dedicated to their passion, that they were willing to risk their lives for it.
The Beatles – Because
I listened to a lot of The Beatles during my childhood, and I can’t see how they couldn’t influence the way I write music. I chose this track as my favourite Beatles song, and one thing I’ve always loved about Beatles’ songs is their beautiful simplicity, which I think makes them so much more impressive because they can take the simplest ideas, yet make them sound quite complex. It’s such a calming and peaceful song and there’s also a great acapella version on the ‘Anthology 3’ album which is stunning.
Best Girl Athlete, the eponymous new self-titled album, is due for release on 2nd October 2017 via Fitlike Records.