Tracks Of My Teens: #3 – French Wives

12 Mar

Tracks Of My Teens

Welcome once again to that part of the week where we ask someone from the music industry to open their soul to the world and take us on a journey down memory lane. Back they go, to the three songs that had a profound impact and influence on them in their youth in our new feature, Tracks Of My Teens. We’ve done it, Waylayers have done it and this week it is the turn of French Wives, specifically singer, Stuart Dougan.

French Wives

Mcalmont and Butler – “Yes”

A lot of people’s early musical tastes are formed by what they hear from their parents and whilst I did enjoy listening to their Van Morrison and Billy Joel records seemingly on loop, it was really my older brother who was my main influence. When we were younger, naturally, we fought like cat and dog and would do just about anything to get one over on each other. I distinctly remember naively mocking him for being ‘obsessed’ with music and that he needed to get a life (sound the irony klaxon now, eh?), so to slowly come around to a lot of what he was listening to was a bitter but ultimately joyous pill to swallow. “Yes” by Mcalmont and Butler is one of the first proper pop songs I remember hearing from my brothers room and whilst it marginally pre-dates my teenage years, merits inclusion here as it’s one of my favourite songs. I love how grand and unabashed the arrangement was from the strings to the vocals to the overall sentiment of the song. I think it stands out for me as I always just figured my brother only listened to Nirvana and/or Deftones so to hear something as poppy and uplifting as “Yes” struck a bit of a chord.

Teenage Fanclub – “Sparky’s Dream

Full blown teenager now and thanks to my brother, I now know what a Foo Fighter is and firmly accept that this music lark is fucking great and I want to listen to loads of it. Three years my senior and with the playstation in his room, it’s only fair that he gets to pick what we listen to as he beats me at Pro Evolution Soccer. When the cat’s away however, the mice will listen to Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub as they’ve heard the name but never actually listened to the music. The mice fall in love (sorry, I’m going to stop the cat/mice analogy now). Grand Prix is the first album I remember actively picking out of my brother’s collection and listening to all the way through as opposed to just overhearing things or being subjected to them by him. Again, I was quickly taken by how melodic and easy it was to listen to. I’m all about melody and lyrics when it comes to writing songs and I think Teenage Fanclub are probably my earliest influence for this. I could pick pretty much any track of this album but I’ll go with “Sparky’s Dream” and also give honourable mention to “Neil Jung” for having my favourite guitar solo in any song ever.

Dr Dre – “Still D.R.E.”

Bit of a departure from the uplifting pop of Mcalmont and Butler I will agree but once I was actively seeking out music to listen to on my own my first real love was hip hop/R’n’B. Life was hard growing up in a really nice middle class suburb in Glasgow so this music really spoke to me. Obviously this is not the case but who knows why you do what you do when you’re 16 (I’m pretty sure I promised myself I’d get a Thugg Life tattoo when I was older… still not followed it through). I just really liked it. Given my upbringing and current musical trajectory it does seem odd to have been so fixated on a genre that has little or no relevance to me but I think, in terms of lyric writing and rhythmical structuring of songs, my hip hop phase has actually been incredibly influential to me. 2001 by Dre was my favourite record of this time and “Still D.R.E.” probably my favourite song of it. It just seemed a cut above everything else in terms of lyrics, the beats and its overall execution. It was the David Beckham to Ja Rule’s David Bentley and when Dre says “you tryin’ to be the king but the ace is back” I believed it and I loved it.

French Wives are currently working on some new material to follow up their debut album, Dream of the Inbetween, which you can buy here.

Stalk French Wives: Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud

One Response to “Tracks Of My Teens: #3 – French Wives”

  1. name not supplied April 14, 2013 at 02:10 #

    interesting third choice i think!

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