My Life In Records
If you ever wished to buy your parents an album containing traces of electronica – and we're assuming here that your folks don't know the difference between Dan Deacon and Dan Brown – then Jono McCleery's forthcoming There Is LP would make a fine choice. For starters, the Cinematic Orchestra-esque arrangements behind these delicate, deceptively straightforward songs certainly wouldn't scare them off; but what we reckon the ol' pair would be especially taken with is that voice. The Londoner's simple, soulful delivery effortlessly invites the listener in, demanding that you stop what you're doing, sit back and give his songs your full attention.
It came as little surprise, then, that the singer fondly selected ten powerful vocalists – including Bill Withers, Elliott Smith and, er, Sir Cliff – when we asked him recently to talk us through his Life In Records. Enjoy Jono's picks below, and be sure to check out the very fine There Is – his first album release on Ninja Tune's Counter Records imprint – when it arrives on September 5.
Apparently this is the first song I ever used to sing along to. I can remember relating quite strongly to The Young Ones at the age of four, and the idea of accompanying Cliff Richard in the most abrupt way possible must have seemed very appealing at the time... Actually, come to think of it now, it still does!
I used to love singing this with my brother when I was young... I think even then I must have been seeking the healing effects of performing music, and this was a perfect place to start.
I have wonderful memories of seeing my Uncle Tony get up at a restaurant and nail this song. I wish I could see it again... I knew then that 'Soul' was in the family.
I heard this song for the first time when I was twelve, and had visions of wild horses racing by me... I would spend the next five years or so trying to catch them, before eventually tracking them down from the album Astral Weeks, and I've never let go since.
Only Gil could make raising political awareness through music sound so cool. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity of meeting (and supporting) him before he sadly passed.
I don't think I had ever felt so hurt by a song – and, indeed, by someone's life story, as I learned of them both in the same moment. Everything about 'River Man' is perfect, and it reminds me of my time spent living on the river. Shortly after discovering it I began to incorporate it into my set at a local pub each week, and watched it work its magic.
A modern spiritual anthem! I was so pleased to welcome In Rainbows into my life, and to realise that music like this could become so popular and successful in its own time.
In the same night at one of my shows, one person recommended this album to me while another actually gave me a copy! I was immediately struck by Lucien's grasp of harmony, and the warmth that came from his voice... I almost felt like he had recorded this one just for me. Rashida definitely inspired a turning-point in my approach to melody.
Probably my favourite lyrics of all time... They always make me feel thirsty, though!
It's one heck of an album. A Love Supreme is all about John's stance for me: both righteous and humble, belief and strength just pour out of this record... It still floors me every time I hear it, and takes me to where I want to be.