Starkness and simplicity: 12 songs which inspired LIGHT and Henry Lloyd Wilson’s split LP

Words by LIGHT.

I’ve found that some of my best musical discoveries over the years – whether it be artists I didn’t know or versions of songs I already loved – were made after coming home at 3am, found in the depths of YouTube and Wikipedia.

Some of that has made it into this playlist of what I was listening to when recording the album and what I’m listening to at the moment.

Together, the playlist is a turbulent mix of stark, intense and complex songs, some beautiful and some sorrowful, and to me they’re all cornerstones of what became my half of the split album.

light / henry lloyd wilson golden age cinema and bar

Before hearing LIGHT perform live at the Golden Age Bar, find out which songs influenced their stunning split LP LIGHT / Henry Lloyd Wilson.

Lawrence English – Hard Rain

Lawrence English’s new album was created with a couple of members of Swans and from the first second of this song I could hear the Swans influence, even before I actually knew it was a collaborative work. I did a guest program on FBi recently and was tempted to just play this whole album…

King Dude – Hello Mary

My favourite song by this guy. They’re dark and simple. The simplicity is something I particularly admire – ironically it’s what I find hardest.

My Disco – Guided

To me, My Disco is consistently the best thing in contemporary music. This song of theirs hasn’t been heard as widely as some others as it was released only as part of a limited edition Sub Pop compilation in 2013.

The Chameleons – Thursday’s Child

There’s another song by The Chameleons that is my favourite of theirs but I’m suddenly conscious that I subconsciously ripped it off in parts of one of my new songs…

Jandek – Your Other Man

Jandek has released something like 80 albums in three decades or so. He’s a cult icon and is notoriously reclusive, having only fully revealed his identity in the past few years. To my great surprise, he gave me the ‘go ahead’ to release a cover of this song.

Peter Tevis and Ennio Morricone – The Green Leaves of Summer

I can’t really convey how important this album has become to me. Peter Tevis’ voice is completely of another time and place – it feels like a lost art. This album is so far removed from my world both musically and thematically that it’s my ultimate escapism, and the songs are beautiful, sorrowful and occasionally hilarious.

Linea Aspera – Malarone

These guys had already broken up a few years before I first found them but I ordered their album straight away after finding this song. To be honest, the album arrived on my doorstep and I couldn’t remember ordering it. That’s how I know this was definitely a late-night discovery. The singer’s voice is great, kind of androgynous and intense.

Apparently she’s from Melbourne, though the group were based in Berlin.

Colin Newman – Life on Deck

I often listen to this song several times in a row just for the outro, from 1:41 onwards. The kind of demented choral-style vocals behind the lead vocal line creates this nice contrast as everything crescendos and spins into chaos.

Windy & Carl – Undercurrent

I come back to this song every now and again, trying to remind myself of the effectiveness of simple music. I still end up writing something stupidly complicated though.

Felt – The Stagnant Pool

Everything about Felt is beautiful and heartbreaking. They started out a little too pop for me but then made their way to this. If you ever see me staring into the abyss with headphones on, you could put your money on it being this song playing.

Metro Decay – Κειμήλια

I can’t remember how I found this, but I think this and the next one came at the same time.

Message: Derniere Nuit

There’s something about the particular type of synth sounds about midway through this song that I’ve always been drawn to. In some contexts it has become a cliché but it’s truly defining of that particular era. Also, if anyone has listened to this whole playlist I’ll give them a copy of the album at the launch.

Listen to the whole playlist here. 

Sydney musician Luke de Zilva, under the moniker LIGHT, launches his and Melbourne musician and EXEK member Henry Lloyd Wilson’s split album at the Golden Age Bar. New York-based Australian multi-instrumentalist Robert Irish (Devotional) will open the night, then later join LIGHT along with Jack Elias/Quaoub.

Saturday Jan 13. Free entry. Grab all the details on the Facebook event.

Listen to the LIGHT / Henry Lloyd Wilson split LP below: