So, there’s this newish band in town called October Drift. Take shimmery alt-rock, paired with a deep baritone and just a touch of Silversun Pickups (hold the female vocals) and you’ve got yourself a Grade A up-and-comer. Need a bonus? The band have a strong DIY mindset; they record everything themselves and hand-make all merchandise. (It also helps that lead singer/rhythm guitarist Kiran Roy is a total babe.)
Formed in 2015, the band have already received praise from Clash, Gigwise, and, now, VultureHound. So, of course we had to find out what these dudes are listening to. Kiran and lead guitarist Dan Young offered up 10 tracks we should clearly bring (back) into our rotation.
Kiran Roy (Lead Singer/Rhythm Guitar)
1. Broken Social Scene – ‘Stars and Sons’
I only recently got into Broken Social Scene. Had seen their name around so took a punt and bought You Forget It In People, which is an awesome album and has been played a lot in my house ever since. I like their approach to music and being in a band – constantly evolving and experimenting.
2. Radiohead – ‘The Bends’
Although I’d probably say In Rainbows is their best work, I heard The Bends a lot throughout my youth so there’s a nostalgia to this album. I’m spoiled for choice picking a Radiohead song, but I love the vibe and energy of this track. I don’t think October Drift would sound like we do if Radiohead never existed. I saw Thom York and Johnny Greenwood at Glastonbury years ago and was blown away. I’m not sure how they do it, but Radiohead seem to just be a step above any other bands. Hats off.
3. Nirvana – ‘Something In The Way’
My sister gave me Unplugged in New York on cassette when I was 13 years old. That was my first introduction to Nirvana and from then on I was hooked. That album used to play on my walkman on repeat, and they’re still very much an influence what I’m trying to do now.
4. Nick Drake – ‘Northern Sky‘
My dad bought me Bryter Layter on CD when I was in my early teens. I remember not really getting it at the time, it lay dormant in my CD collection for a few years before I gave it another shot. I think it coincided with smoking weed and I got really into it. Over the years, this album has crept its way to being one of my favourites. I’ve since got into the other two albums, but Bryter Layter’s my top choice.
5. Echo and the Bunnymen – ‘The Killing Moon’
I was introduced to Echo and the Bunnymen at around 16 or 17. They were mentioned by a guy called Rich Sparks who owns the studio we now hire. Ocean Rain was the first album of theirs that I heard and it had a big influence on me. It was dark and orchestral and gave a nod to Bob Dylan and The Beatles, of whom I was already a big fan. I’ve been lucky enough to see them play through Ocean Rain live with an orchestra at Glastonbury which was fantastic.
Dan Young (Lead Guitar)
6. Billy Joel – ‘Piano Man’
I think music can be really situational, and for me just hearing certain songs bring back strong memories of the past. Kiran and I worked in a music venue when we were 18, and every weekend the staff would get together and have a lock-in, drinking and playing cards and stuff. We always had the same playlist of songs in the background, and ‘Piano Man’ was the last track on the playlist… The big finale!
7. Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Rhinoceros’
I was given this cassette when I was about 11 years old. One side had The Offspring’s Smash and the other had Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish on it. I went on a school trip to France, and these two albums were literally all I played the whole time. There’s something about this track that just caught my ear back then and even now it’s just got this melodic rawness about it that I love.
8. James Taylor – ‘Carolina In My Mind’
My uncle, who also got me into playing guitar, was a massive fan of singer song writers like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Carole King. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple of years ago, and one of my last memories of him was all of our family listening to James Taylor together and singing along. It’s such a great track and one that just needed to be included for me.
9. Gil Scott Heron – ‘Me And The Devil’
Possibly the coolest guy ever, ‘I’m New Here’ was his first original album in like 16 years, and although I’d like to say I’d got into him before this, I hadn’t. It took the helping hand of my local record shop guy to introduce me to Gil Scott and this track just really shines! If I can write music like that at 60, well, ever for that matter, I’ll be forever grateful.
10. The 1975 – ‘UGH!’
I’m not, well, I wasn’t a The 1975 fan, but I decided to give their new album a go out of curiosity. I can’t believe how much I enjoyed it, although there are some moments that are a bit cheesy, I just think it’s so great that one of the world’s biggest pop bands haven’t just churned out a second album consisting of three singles and ten ‘B sides’. They’ve clearly just put together an album that they wanted to make without tailoring it for a particular market, which I think is brave for a band like that and it’s clearly paid off! This track is my favorite, it’s got a real good funk vibe to it.