My Top 10 Tracks: I Monster

I Monster are Sheffield-based duo Dean Honer (All Seeing I) and Jarrod Gosling. They describe their sound as “pop, psychedelic, rock, other stuff” where “other stuff” might include Vaudeville, trip-hop, jazz, R&B, and strange electronica from the fifth dimension. I Monster’s third album A Dense Swarm Of Ancient Stars was my favourite album of 2009 — a truly brilliant release, it’s one of those rare perfect gems that pops up once in a while to restore your faith in music. Amongst a busy production schedule (The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw and, if rumours are to be believed, The Human League), next up for the boys is spin-off project Skywatchers with début album The Skywatchers Handbook due for release in September. I asked Jarrod to let us know his Top 10 favourite songs. He replied with the following selection: ten tracks he loves covering a mixture of styles (“otherwise I would be biased towards progressive rock tracks!“)

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1. Elvis Presley — Can’t Help Falling In Love

I’m not a huge huge Elvis fan, but this number is just the business when it comes to beautiful balladry. Perfect.

2. Genesis — Blood On The Rooftops

Melodic progressive rock territory and perfection personified. So atmospheric. Just listen to the Mellotron chords in the verses.

3. The Stranglers — Golden Brown

Like many latecomers to the Stranglers, I was transfixed with this odd harpsichord number when it came out. I don’t care what the lyrics are about, but I’ve always been addicted to this piece.

4. Soft Machine — Moon In June

This half Robert Wyatt, half Softs performance from Third really hits the spot when it comes to classic English whimsy. There’s a million great songs within the first half of the track alone.

5. Anthrax — A.I.R.

A slight shift in style! Opening track from the fantastic Spreading The Disease album, when thrash was young.

6. ABBA — Eagle

I loved this when it flew out of my parent’s stereo speakers back in ’78. The nearest they got to prog rock? Probably. Whatever, but it soars.

7. Cardiacs — All His Geese Are Swans

One of my favourite bands, this is a rather proggy instrumental and so tuneful. I hope Tim Smith makes a full recovery and makes more beautiful music.

8. America — Horse With No Name

Crosby, Stills And Nash-styled classic. So simple, so effective.

9. Grandaddy — The Crystal Lake

I’m glad Jason Lytle is still recording.

10. David Bowie — Space Oddity

Everyone has a favourite Bowie: this is mine. COSMIC! Oh, and there’s some tasty Mellotron in there too.

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