allie discusses 10 songs that influenced their debut album + new video out now
allie is the moniker of Nashville mjusician Allie Cuva, and they've just released their debut album Maybe Next Time on Other People Records. The album toes the line between dream pop, folk, and emo, and these warm, welcoming songs should appeal to fans of all three genres. To get an even better feel for the music allie was channeling on this LP, we asked them about their influences, and they made a list of 10 songs by Conor Oberst, Mount Eerie, Sharon Van Etten, The National, Gillian Welch, Arcade Fire, and more. Read on for their full list and their commentary on each pick.
Along with the album release, we're premiering the gorgeously serene video for "listless," which perfectly suits the vibe of the song. Watch that and stream the full LP...
10 SONGS THAT INFLUENCED ALLIE'S MAYBE NEXT TIME
“Double Life” - Conor Oberst
This whole Upside Down Mountain record was a huge part of my summer of 2020, in which I wrote much of my own record. Upside Down Mountain was a companion for both grief and growth. To me, the song “Double Life” was particularly an affirmation in transitioning and taking hormones. “Don’t look down, just cross the bridge. When you get there, you’ll know why you did. There’s a better life on the other side. There’s an honest life on the other side.” I was so scared to take the next step, but at the same time, I knew it was the right choice and something I had to do to survive. HRT saved my life, and this song helped.
“Hard Times” Gillian Welch
I first discovered this song on a playlist made during the pandemic by one of my dearest friends, following the death of his grandmother, Ruth. It can always provide me with a cathartic, triumphant cry. “Hard times ain’t gonna rule my mind.”
"Endless” - Pinegrove
This song really met me where I was emotionally during the summer in which I wrote the record, which was so largely depressed and grieving the loss of a relationship, but somehow still hopeful for the future. The outro is probably my favorite ending to a song.. ever.. “when this is over, when this is under a foot of water, hold me forever.” The way it’s sung and repeated with multiple vocals equates to some sort of spiritual listening experience for me. Amidst all of the pandemic isolation, I missed my friends achingly. This song reminded me that they were still there, and that they missed me too and needed me around.
“Love Without Possession” - Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron
A monumentally gorgeous song that visited me many times throughout both 2019 and 2020. Its imagery stops me in my tracks, and I’d rather share some of its lyrics than say anything more:
Even if I never get to see you again
I'll know that when we collided
We both broke each other open
Dropped from a height
Back into the open ocean, it's all horizon
This sky mirroring emptiness
Is where I first found you
“Let Go” - Sharon Van Etten
I’d ran a lot in the summer and fall while I made the record, and this song gave me tons of energy around miles 6-10 while I would start to feel fatigue and added emotional stress from all the hormonal shifts in my body, particularly in the ending where she so passionately sings “Now I’m letting go”. It felt to me like I was letting go of the unhealth of my past and really becoming who I was meant to be.
“Quiet Light” - The National
After my breakup, I’d stay up all night, unable to sleep from my sadness. I needed a song that I felt like honestly acknowledged the crushing weight of depression and heartache that I was experiencing. The melancholic piano alone in this song is enough to carry the song’s meditative lyrics, and then the full instrumental takes it to an emotional environment that only The National could sculpt.
“Destroyer” - Lala Lala
This song was very sonically inspiring as I was recording/producing the record. To me, it feels like such a perfectly tasteful use of lo-fi and hi-fi recording/production styles to complement the songwriting. I imagined a lot of my songs most appropriately finding homes within a similarly hybrid sonic philosophy. Sometimes mid-fi is the truest answer.
“Friends (feat. Bon Iver)” - Francis and the Lights
This song revisits me like an old friend I see every now and again. It seems to pop into my life whenever I need it most. This song came back to me during the grieving process of having felt like, in a romantic context, I lost the person closest to me. It reminded me that I still was fortunate to be able to someday have a friendship with them. Like the song says, “We could be friends”. It reminded me that the same was true in my life. I had a choice.
“Afraid of Nothing” - Sharon Van Etten
Whew!!!!!!! Another doozy, Sharon… I almost can’t listen to this without crying. This is a song my ex introduced to me years ago, and it feels extra raw because it has sentiments I can take with me into future relationships with others. The only way to truly move forward is to be authentic and vulnerable and show up as my truest self. That’s what the line “afraid of nothing” means to me, and it gets me every time.
“Keep the Car Running” - Arcade Fire
The energy of Arcade Fire often helps me channel optimism in a way that feels sober and honest. “Keep the Car Running” is no exception, and the drum beat for this was a direct inspiration for my song “Destroyer”.
Pick up a copy of Maybe Next Time here.