Adele Emmas of Bird black and white press shot

Adele Emmas is the main songwriting force and ethereal voice of Liverpool three-piece Bird.

They’ve recently started to stretch their wings with the release of the Shadows EP (we loved it – see here) and support slots with the wonderful Pins.

We asked Adele to put together her top 10 albums for us – never an easy task, but always a wonderful read. Here’s her choices.

Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love

To pick my favourite Kate Bush album is very difficult, The Kick Inside is a close contender but The Hounds Of Love is a classic and beautiful album from start to finish.

She’s one of my favourite artists of all time, her music is always so emotive, nostalgic and unique. I also love the fact that you can’t put her in any genre, define her or hear any other musicians influence throughout her music, she’s just herself and it all comes directly from within.

Favourite track – Running Up That Hill

Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen

This is a very special album to me, whenever my family and I are all together we always play this as a bit of a tradition at Christmas etc.

For me, his lyrics and poetry are one of the best out there and he’s been very inspirational to me and my writing.

People find his music depressing but I feel far from it, for me it’s uplifting and profound, his music is heavenly to me.

Favourite track – So Long Marianne

Radiohead – In Rainbows

I’m a big Radiohead fan and I love bits and pieces from most of their albums, but for me In Rainbows is the best. Tracks like Reckoner, Weird Fishes and All I Need are stunning.

I love the way you can see their progression and experimentation throughout their career and each album that they do.

They’re a band that’ll never sell out or cater to what the masses want and they’re simply in it for their passion for music, that makes me respect them a lot as a band.

Favourite track – Reckoner

Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold

I remember when I first heard this album and I totally fell in love with it, I felt like it was everything I’d been searching for musically, it was dark, magical, and unique. I felt like I totally understood and related to Natasha Khan’s vision.

I also love her second album Two Suns which I think is just as good as the first.

I love the Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire cover on this too. She’s a bit of an icon of mine …

Favourite track – Horse and I

Nick Drake – Pink Moon

This is a toss up between Pink Moon and Five Leaves Left. Nick Drake was a real talent and a beautiful soul who sadly didn’t get recognised up until after his death. I’ve read a lot about him and watched various documentary’s on his life and found him to be a lovely, down to earth and sensitive person.

I remember being on holiday in Greece a couple of years back whilst sailing on a friends boat and listening to the song Horn (Pink Moon), I remember looking around and seeing stunning mountains and endless sea and sky, it was a bit of a moment for me and that song will always remind me of that, it’s one of my fondest memories.

I also love the album Family Tree which is just a collection of his rough old demo’s, covers and him playing music with his sister. His music always sounds really seasonal to me, it reminds me of summer or autumn time.

Favourite track – Which Will

Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See

My mum used to play this a lot when I was a child, so there’s that element of nostalgia there for me.

I think this albums managed to create that perfect balance between folk and dark psychedelia and there isn’t one dull track on there. I’ve been listening to it for 24 years now and whenever I go back to it, it’s just as good as the first time and it always plucks at the heartstrings.

Favourite track – Fade Into You

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks

I got introduced to this album by a friend when I was 18. The only Van Morrison stuff I’d heard of were the mainstream classics but then I listened to Astral Weeks and it blew me away.

I think the lyrics and imagery that are created are perfect and all of the instrumentation has been placed so perfectly. He’s got some great tracks on the album Moondance too.

This record reminds me of past summers, partying with friends and drinking wine … maybe that’s why I love it so much!

Favourite track – Sweet Thing

The Cocteau Twins – Heaven Or Las Vegas

I’m a big Cocteau Twins fan and there’s so many of their albums that I love but I think if there was one that had been most influential to me it’d be Heaven Or Las Vegas.

I think the love for music has a lot to do with taking you back to certain memories and the feeling of nostalgia, this album does that for me. I’ve gone from listening to this on tape, then CD and now vinyl, so I can reflect back on a lot when hearing this.

I love the overall sound with Liz Fraser’s stunning vocals and their dreamy effects.

Favourite track – Fifty-fifty Clown

Clint Mansell/Kronos Quartet – The Fountain OST 

This is the music for a film called The Fountain that I watched a couple of years back and I thought the soundtrack was beautiful. I like a lot of classical music and film soundtracks and this one is a personal favourite, I think Clint Mansell is a really good composer too. I especially love the song The Last Man.

Favourite track – The Last Man

Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights

I’ve played this album for years now and it’s always reminded me of happy times, right through from being a teenager up until my twenties.

I love the production and the melancholic yet beautiful lyrics and instrumentation, I also love Paul Banks’ deep and unique voice.

I don’t think they’ve beaten this since, I feel like this is one of them special albums where they’ve captured a piece of magic in time and it may never quite be re-created.

Favourite track – Untitled

You can find Bird on Facebook.

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Sarah is a former editor of Louder Than War and a freelance music writer for numerous other publications online and in print. Co-owner of Reckless Yes Records she has put out music by LIINES, Pet Crow and lots of other awesome bands as well as put on shows by bands including Bivouac, Mark Morriss, Desperate Journalist and Dream Nails. She's an author, user experience designer and digital content strategist, as well as an occasional broadcaster. Sarah is a compulsive collector of coloured vinyl, a believer in the boogie and is in love with possibilities.

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