East India Youth On The Songs That Influenced ‘Total Strife Forever’

This week mag’s Lead Radar is East India Youth aka William Doyle. ‘Total Strife Forever’, his debut album, will be out on January 13 and you can catch him live from the end of January. Read Doyle’s piece for NME about his musical influences and inspirations and listen to the playlist below.

All of the songs on this list influenced the general mood at the time of making ‘TOTAL STRIFE FOREVER’, rather than informing specific ideas or qualities, their fingerprints mostly felt in the spirit of how the album was made and the general atmosphere they created. Of course, there is a plethora of other material that contributed, but these are the first things that spring to mind as having a really strong hand in what decisions I made during composition and production.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Andro
I think the whole of ‘Replica’ actually played quite a big influence on how the resulting album turned out. I wasn’t really familiar with Daniel Lopatin’s work before it, but it really changed things for me. It showed me Interesting ways of dealing with repetition, the sequencing of the record being jarring at times, sounds and ideas coming in at you unexpectedly but keeping some kind of cohesive structure going. I find the production really evocative and it transports me back to a certain time and mood whenever I hear it, especially the opening track ‘Andro’.

Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz

Part of my idea was to make an album that had as much emotional impact as Sufjan’s ‘Age of Adz’ did for me. The way very bold statements were made in such grandiose ways, electronics and orchestral instrumentals crashing together to create these dense soundscapes, but somehow retaining some sense of integrity and, in my opinion, a humorous distance even within such grandiloquence. The title track from this record does all of this perfectly.

Factory Floor – Two Different Ways
Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my first mix of the album, I saw Factory Floor for the first time and nothing was quite the same again. I met Quietus editor John Doran at said gig, which started a relationship that would dictate where the next part of my music career would go, but also Factory Floor’s set had a massive effect on the way I thought about performing as a live electronic act and helped move along some of my ideas of production. The difference between the original mix and album version of ‘HINTERLAND’ for example, were informed a lot by seeing this band live and immediately buying this 12″. An incredible group that I’m honoured to have toured with.

David Bowie – Warszawa
I think I know why David Bowie’s Berlin period records often appeal to many artists and musicians. ‘Low’ and “Heroes” at least, are albums of staggering innovation and almost total disregard for what was expected of the artist behind them at the time, which are qualities I feel are important to cultivate. For me, the mixture of instrumental and pop songs on these albums was an incredibly liberating idea and it struck me as odd how not a great deal of other bands and artists have continued to do the same. Not only this mixture but also the atmosphere of the instrumental tracks on these albums really tapped into something inside me. ‘Warszawa’ in particular has an almost classical feel to it that I found very inspiring, knowing it was made (mostly) by Brian Eno, a man with no formal musical training but some excellent ideas and a few synthesisers.

Tim Hecker – Hatred of Music I
‘Ravedeath, 1972’ really helped to shape my ideas of using noise in an almost serene way. I felt that it was incredibly important to the sound of the album that there were many passages of harsh noise that weren’t made in aggression but anguish. Tim Hecker’s music made me realise that this was possible to do but also have a recognisable harmonic structure at the same time. ‘Hatred of Music I’ is a painfully intense track on an incredibly emotional album.

Laurel Halo – Light + Space

Nothing reminds me of the period of making this album more than this song. I don’t really know how or if it influenced anything in particular, but I remember listening to it absolutely tonnes. The way it sounds to me is incredibly evocative and within the production I remember much. Some bad memories and some brilliant. It’s absolutely beautiful and it’s one of my favourite songs of all time.