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GUEST BLOG: The Albums That Mold[ed] Me

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Photo Credit: Zack Dinh
Photo Credit: Zack Dinh

When I was contemplating what to write about, I had trouble finding something that I truly cared talking about and something that some readers might be psyched on. So, I’ve chosen to talk a little bit about the four albums that have most influenced me throughout my time as a songwriter and musician. I’m not saying these are the best albums ever or anything, just the ones that have meant the most to me as an artist. No particular order, here we go:

1. Hell Or High WaterAs Cities Burn

This album had been out for around three years before I first heard of it. I was recording some songs for my first band and my buddy who was recording told me to listen to ‘Into The Sea’. Once I heard the cathartic vocals, I was hooked. ‘Into The Sea’ is just the beginning though – the last half of the album progresses song by song, always building off the prior. It’s an album that I’m convinced was written about me.

2. I’m Like A Virgin Losing A ChildManchester Orchestra

I was 12 when this album came out, probably got it when I was 14, and still swear by it now when I’m 20. There’s a variety of feeling in this album; joyous riffs, light, airy vocals, dark organ tones, and Hull’s honest writing making things even darker. But, the best part is the album’s finale, ‘Colly Strings’— turn it on and sink into it. That track has been so inspiring when writing the new Flowers On The Fence material.

3. Absent SoundsFrom Indian Lakes

I would say this is my favorite album of 2014 but that’s another story. FIL has been one of my favorites since their first album. There’s so much to talk about with them, but their evolution as a band through each album is most inspiring to me. I want to find and develop that same evolution in the next Flowers On The Fence album. The most inspiring track of Absent Sounds for me is ‘Awful Things’ because it is so soft musically and vocally, but screams such heaviness at me every time I hear it.

4. Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism OnlySeahaven

Speaking of the evolution of a band, Seahaven evolved with this album, painting it with colors of emotion that breakdowns and screaming can’t accomplish. My favorite LP by Seahaven, this album tends to focus on distant vocals and dreamy guitar tones that help me escape, almost making it a vice for me. The way the guitar is written in this album showed me new perspectives to adopt and I think you can hear it best on Winter’s Season.

These are hardly a handful of the albums that have inspired and molded me as a musician and a songwriter. They have fed my “music-listener” voids over the years and continue to spark my creative process. These four albums won’t let you down, so turn them on and drown in ‘em.


San Francisco-based Cory Teese, the fast-rising indie rock artist who creates music under the moniker Flowers On The Fence, released his debut EP “Winter’s Season” earlier in 2014. Influenced by the likes of Seahaven and From Indian Lakes, Flowers On The Fence is very much an artist to watch in 2015. You can stream and purchase “Winter’s Season” on Bandcamp for a “name your price” deal and check out the acoustic version of second track “Bloom” below.

Flowers On The Fence on social media: Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube

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Joe Ballard

Occasional writer for Infectious Magazine and full-time Publicist for Muddy Paw PR. 110% nerd. If I'm not listening to Anberlin or finding new music, you can find me reading anything by George R. R. Martin or finding new anime to watch.

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