MCU Mondays: Animal Years

It being the first Monday of the month, we have another MCU Monday, featuring the recently reviewed band, Animal Years.  We asked the Brooklyn-based band about the music that has had the biggest impact on them, helping create them as both musicians and people. Each member had a different take on the songs they chose, and it truly is fascinating to read the range of effects and emotions music has evoked.  Take a look at what they shared with us below.

You can listen to and subscribe to Animal Years’ playlist here.

Mike McFadden (lead vocals, guitar, banjo):

  •  “Trouble” – Ray Lamontagne
    The title track to an album that really got me into [being a] singer/songwriter. After hearing Ray’s backstory and then hearing this album, you realize just how much of his pain he funnels into these songs.
  • “Troubles Will Be Gone” – Tallest Man On Earth
    I heard this guy for the first time while backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. It’s one of those times where you’re really not sure how he’s playing with just two hands. This song got me into fingerpicking and growing out my nails.
  • “All The Best” – John Prine
    John Prine is a storyteller and a true folk musician. My dad got me into the other side of folk music that is really about the lyrics first and foremost. This song reminds me of my dad’s foray into songwriting, and writing songs including his hit “The Horizontal Mambo.”

Anthony Saladino (bass, backing vocals):

  •  “I Want You Back” – Jackson 5
    It’s the best pop song ever written, not a single person on Earth doesn’t like this song. That bass line is insane and everyone can relate to the subject matter.
  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt
    This song is gangster as fuck. The whole thing is soaked in pain and Bonnie Raitt makes you feel every ounce of it.
  • “Wildflowers” – Tom Petty
    I was really into this album around the time my grandmother passed away a few years ago. I was very close to her, she actually bought me my first guitar, and now whenever I think of her I picture her surrounded by wildflowers.

Anthony Spinnato (drums, backing vocals):

  •  “Hold Me Now” – Polyphonic Spree
    From the first time I heard this song I was fascinated with the sound and style. The engineering/production probably sparked my interest in the studio, and the style (baroque-pop) was something new to me that I fell in love with.
  • “Hysteria” – Muse
    Muse always amazed me because of the intense sound and character they’re able to achieve with 3 people. Even though their records have overdubs they typically don’t have more than 3 things going on at a time. The Absolution record was the only CD in my car for most of high school and their music definitely influenced me a lot.

Matt Indelicatti (guitar, backing vocals):

  • “Sleepwalk Capsules” – At The Drive In
    There are a few songs I can specifically remember that changed the way I listen to music. What was different for me about this band at the time was the way they could portray such raw energy yet demonstrate strong guitar work – and even some pop sensibility.
  • “The Great Golden Baby” – Circa Survive
    What’s unique about this band may not quite be so apparent on the surface – at first listen you could mistake these guys for the same screamo bullshit that was typical for the time. Something that Circa Survive is able to do so well is craft such catchy melodies over guitars drenched in delay that often create their own separate melodies. The guitar and vocal work at the end of this song are a perfect example – one guitar simply drones while the other plays a catchy lead and Anthony Green’s vocals soar over all of it.
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