July/August 2013 “On My Deathbed” winner Andy Clark reveals his prize picks. From Nirvana to Bon Iver, read Andy’s ruminations on the picks that helped him win the Martin CEO-6 Black Guitar. And enter the September/October “On My Deathbed” Contest for your chance to win a Martin OM-28E Retro Guitar. Click here to read our review.
Videos by American Songwriter
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
I first discovered Nick Drake, like many others, when I heard the title track used in “Milky Way”, a Volkswagen Cabriolet Commercial. The album reminds me of childhood and driving in a car with the window down on a summer’s night. I recently got the vinyl box set and it’s like having Nick Drake in your room playing live.
Elliott Smith – Elliott Smith
I loved his lo-fi style and Beatles influence. The album is haunting and was considered by Elliott himself as dark as he could get. This album has a lot of personal meanings to me; adolescence, Texas, and moving.
Grace – Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley much like his father Tim just had “it”. His impressive vocal range and underrated guitar ability stands out. It’s no surprise “Grace” is one of the top albums of the ’90s. “Eternal Life” is especially one of my favorite tracks on the album. He inspired my electric guitar of choice, the Telecaster.
Bleach – Nirvana
Nirvana was one of the first bands that had a really emotional impact on me. I am burnt out on most of Nirvana’s discography but Bleach is always a great listen. This album is raw, gritty and pure Nirvana!
For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver
It’s no secret the album was recorded by Justin Vernon while in three months of solitude. Vernon used that time of isolation to confront the battles inside his head and wrote a great album. Leonard Cohen once said, “It is a popular motion that suffering produces good work, or insightful work, I don’t think that is the case. Good work is produced in-spite of suffering and is a victory over suffering.” I agree with Cohen that art is a victory over suffering and this album is proof.
Oh, Inverted World – The Shins
The album is very cheerful even if unintended. One of my favorite movies is Garden State and a couple Shins songs are included in the movie. The connection between imaginary and sound is like peas and carrots. This album has been the soundtrack to my summer.
Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will – Mogwai
Sometimes music speaks louder than words and Mogwai is a great example. There are a few Vocoder lines but overall it is purely an instrumental album. I recommend the last track “You’re Lionel Richie”; the song is like a burst of emotion.
The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place – Explosions In The Sky
Another powerful instrumental album, it reminds me of autumn leaves blowing in the wind or ocean waves hitting the beach. This album is a very euphoric listen. When I want to relax and concentrate on writing this is what I put on.
There’s No Leaving Now – The Tallest Man On Earth
I love the Dylan esquire vocal delivery with the Nick Drake inspired guitar style. The lyrics are touching and seem to bring me the feeling the artist was finally content with his life and surroundings. This album always makes me feel very positive in times of stress or anxiety.
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
While the lyrics are a little difficult to interpret, the emotion and power of the Jeff’s voice is nothing less than inspirational. “Oh, Comely” is one of my favorite tracks.