Laura Stevenson looks back on the music that influenced ‘Sit Resist’ for its 10th anniversary
Laura Stevenson's 2011 album Sit Resist turns 10 this year, and she'll be celebrating the anniversary by performing the album in full on the BrooklynVegan-presented "Sit Resist (At Home)" livestream, which happens this Saturday (2/13) at 8 PM ET (tickets).
Ahead of the stream, we caught up with Laura to ask her about the music that influenced the making of this album ten years ago, and she made us a list that includes The Weakerthans, Neutral Milk Hotel, Joanna Newsom, The Microphones, Built To Spill, Akron/Family, The Magnetic Fields, her grandmother, and more, and told us how each one specifically impacted Sit Resist. Read on for what she had to say and listen to the songs she picked by each one...
Lyrically and melodically I feel like this is my favorite band... if not of all time then definitely during this time in my life.
Neutral Milk Hotel
You can hear a lot of influence from this band on Sit Resist specifically, a lot of the arrangements and the actual songwriting itself, very In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. I also love the flow of that record and was very conscious of that when figuring out the track order of Sit Resist and which songs would go where.
Lyrically one of my favorite writers... I was OBSESSED with The Milk-Eyed Mender at this time in my life. She’s just such a perfect writer.
I loved the horn arrangements on their records, so much so that I actually got one of their members, Kelly Pratt, to play on my next three records after this one.
I was super into the way Phil Elverum layered his vocals. It felt very warm and spontaneous, and that’s how I recorded all the harmonies on Sit Resist. Luckily the producer Eric Bennet created an environment of trust and had the patience to let me play the way that I wanted to.
This is my grandma, she sang briefly with Benny Goodman, in fact she ran into him later in his life and he told her that she was his favorite singer, so the story goes. Anyway, she sang with this beautiful lilt that I was desperately trying to emulate especially early on when I was finding my voice.
Built To Spill
I love the way Doug Martsch writes songs... and plays guitar- I listened to this band A LOT around the making of Sit Resist. I even used one of their songs as a mix reference for the producer while we were recording, although I realize in retrospect that I just really liked the song... the mix was a little thin sounding, but that’s why this record sounds the way it does.
One of my favorite bands at the time, I went and saw them play a TON in Brooklyn and even flew out and saw them play in Big Sur, CA and I made my dad come with me because seeing them live was such a transcendent experience.
The Magnetic Fields
I love this band so much, especially the playfulness of their instrumentation. Stephin Merritt is very influenced by pre-rock n’ roll old standards, and The Great American Songbook – as am I – and it was really inspiring for me to hear someone use those influences in a modern pop context. We used to cover “I Don’t Want To Get Over You” on the first ever tour that the band lineup that would record Sit Resist went on.
Get tickets to Laura's livestream here.