16 Oct 2014

Guest Mix: Sky Picnic "Her Dawn Wardrobe" Influences & Inspirations

We've got a guest mix today from Brooklyn's Sky Picnic, who have just released their third album "Her Dawn Wardrobe" (reviewed glowingly here).

The mix, compiled by Sky Picnic's Chris Sherman features a selection of cuts on heavy rotation during "Her Dawn Wardrobe"s gestation period.

Set the stream running here and read on with Chris's commentary below:

"One of the first things I have heard about our new LP from people is that it seems we’ve grown as a band and have picked up some different influences as evidenced by some new sounds. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to work on a creating a mix of what Sky Picnic was heavily into for the writing process (and sometimes the recording and mixing too) of Her Dawn Wardrobe.

The Byrds and the Who open up the set; “Change Is Now” has amazing harmonies, which is something Leah and I really strove to incorporate on HDW, along with a super-fuzzed out McGuinn solo, which was a sound I was really after during recording. “Our Love Was, Is” showed exactly how much you can fit into three minutes, and the lyrics fit alongside nicely with where I was mentally on this album.

I suppose every musician goes through a phase where they cannot listen to anything in their respective genre for a while, and for me, that road led to jazz, specifically Coltrane. I really could have picked anything from A Love Supreme for this selection, but this piece captures the feel that Pete brought to some of our songs. “Some Time Alone Alone” by Melody’s Echo Chamber and “Waterfall” by the Stone Roses both have a bounce to them; the groove is contagious, and having that sort of vibe is something that had eluded us to this point, yet came to the forefront this time around for us (seriously, I cannot begin to explain the abundance of Stone Roses we binged on).

The Police are another favorite of ours; Sting’s lyrics have this foreboding and dark vibe, which I have always gravitated toward and Andy Summers turned into a huge influence for myself over the last year, particularly as I learned more about leaving space in the material and playing with a more minimalist vibe. Of course, the same can be said for Robert Fripp. I honestly could (and should) have just added the entire Red LP to this mix, and called it a day, but, we were big into capturing dynamics in our new songs, so “Fracture” is the obvious choice to demonstrate that influence.

Then you have the folkier side of things, represented here by the Amazing and Donovan. These are songs that made me want to write touching acoustic pieces that would complement, yet also be the perfect dichotomy to the rest of the material. Dungen’s “Blandband” probably wins the award for “song I have listened to the most over the last two years”. It’s a sweeping motion sort of song that will forever now be associated with the imagery of driving through the hills and trees of the northeast on the way to a gig last year. Coincidentally enough, it seems to move at the exact speed of a vehicle on the highway. And yes, Reine’s guitar tone will forever continue to awe. “Hung Up On A Dream” by the Zombies still gives me chills to this day (particularly the volume swell chord after the bridge). Another of my fondest memories of traveling is the band sing-alongs of the Odyssey and Oracle album.

I closed this mix out with the first single from the new album, “June Sunshine”, which is really just a taste of what the rest of the LP holds. I hope you not only dug this, but it will perhaps lead you to check out the new album, released this week on Mega Dodo Records (UK)."

You can buy "Her Dawn Wardrobe" on CD or vinyl, or stream it in full here.

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