Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Mt. Doubt

Edinburgh-based artist Mt. Doubt aka Leo Bargery has teamed up with Dunfermline rockers Foreignfox for the release of AA-side single Tourists / Lights Off, Carry Me Home, out now via Scottish Fiction.

We caught up with Leo to find out some of the songs that have influenced him over the years in this week’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records…

Welcome To The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance

This really is the only logical place to start… I remember so clearly hearing this for the first time on the radio in my mum’s car on the way home from school. I think I was probably about thirteen and from the epic piano introduction it was love at first listen, I just sat in my room and played it over and over. I reckon I could still sing the entire album word-for-word! They really captured the whole adolescent-angst ‘thing’ and I loved the theatre of it all. I still wish I could have grown a proper fringe.

Soco Amaretto Lime – Brand New

I possess the flaw of being over-nostalgic and this particular Brand New song embodies that sense of ‘moment’ so vividly. It really captures the sadness of looking back at things that are out of reach, the irony is that when I first heard the line “We’re going to stay eighteen forever, so we can stay like this forever”, I was probably only fifteen. Jesse Lacey is a really brilliant songwriter and his lyrics were definitely an early inspiration. This song reminds me of school summers and all they entailed.

Poke – Frightened Rabbit 

I owe Frightened Rabbit a lot in terms of how much they opened my eyes to Scottish music in my early teens and this song in particular was a real favourite. I remember I was walking into Edinburgh city centre with my headphones in and kept restarting this track, consumed by the lyrics and the mood. At the time I probably didn’t even really comprehend the actual meaning or intensity of it all but “should we kick it’s cunt in and watch as it dies from bleeding”, is one of those lyrics which sticks with you. Scott Hutchinson is a genius. 

Slow Show – The National

Just a really phenomenal band and a really amazing song, ‘Slow Show’ just happens to be the song that started the love affair. Again, lyrically it’s exceptional but the musical layers are so beautiful throughout, jam-packed with really nice horns and pianos. They create such a deep and complex atmosphere in what is essentially a four minute pop song and that really excited me. There’s also a certain anxiety and melancholy in the song which I related to immediately. 

Atmosphere – Joy Division

Continuing with the depressive theme; Joy Division… I watched ‘Control’, Anton Corbjin’s very emotional Ian Curtis biopic as someone who didn’t know much beyond the realm of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, and dancing and celebrating the irony. The film ends soon after Curtis’ suicide and the closing credits roll while ‘Atmosphere’ plays. It is such a beautiful, expansive song; it is a lesson in simplicity. It really sounds sad; it’s amazing how much feeling is translated.

Into My Arms – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 

Arguably home to the best opening the best line of any song ever, “I don’t believe in an interventionist god, but I know darling that you do”, ‘Into My Arms’ is the opening track of ‘The Boatman’s Call’ which was the first Nick Cave record I heard. I think this song is pure poetry, it is so bare and restrained yet it feels immensely personal. Lyrically Nick Cave exists in another dimension, he’s just kicking about with Leonard Cohen and Morrissey laughing at everybody else. 

Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey 

Morrissey can do no wrong in my eyes. Even though I like The Smiths, I hold the slightly unusual opinion that I prefer his solo material and this track is an absolute anthem. It’s a pop tune with a belter of a chorus which wishes an atomic bomb on the dreary British seaside. There is something I find really comforting about putting on a Morrissey record, it’s sort of like speaking to an old friend on the phone, I know that sounds bizarre but I do really have an unashamed adoration for him! 

Eyepennies – Sparklehorse 

So this is a track I have loved for a really long time, I bought ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at complete random in Fopp with no knowledge of who the band were. It so happened that just over a week later Mark Linkous shot himself and Sparklehorse were no more, which really cemented the album and this song in my mind. Again, it’s a very emotional track and his voice is unbelievable. We covered this in session for Vic Galloway last year too so it will always be a special one for me.

All To Well – Taylor Swift

An unexpected, guilty pleasure! Taylor Swift is the queen of nostalgia and melodrama and I’m a sucker for that. At university my flatmate and I used to sit and play FIFA in our flat for hours and hours on end, an experience which was sound-tracked exclusively by Taylor Swift…In the name of pure nostalgia she just has to make it onto this list. I also find her music to be strangely depressing, so she fits in nicely on this list.

Warrior – Public Image Ltd. 

PIL are a band that I got into through my dad really. He’s a fan of theirs and I went with him to see Lydon & co at the ABC in Glasgow a few years back and was instantly struck by their song ‘Warrior’. Originally it’s something of a dance-tune but guitarist Lu Edmonds has completely revitalised the lead line and to me anyway it’s just one of those riffs which is ‘right’, I could listen to it all day. There’s a great live version on their Live at Isle of Wight record. 

Tourists is out on now via Scottish Fiction.

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