CMU Playlists

Playlist: Vessels

By | Published on Friday 18 March 2011


Formed in 2005, Leeds-based post-rock five-piece Vessels released their debut album, ‘White Fields & Open Devices’, via Cuckundoo Records in 2008. Produced by John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, Modest Mouse) it featured songs that set them apart from other acts in the genre, thanks to both their technical ability and attention to songcraft beyond the simple loud-quiet-loud formula adopted by many of their rivals.

Last year they returned to the US to work with Congleton again on their second album, ‘Helioscope’, which is released on 21 Mar. Building on the starting point of ‘White Fields…’, the new album attempts to make their music something people are more likely to dance to, which makes sense for a band who are so unmissable as a live act.

To get some idea of the influences that are pulled together to direct this sound, we asked guitarist Martin Teff to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. The results are as diverse and enjoyable as you’d hope, flying between metal, techno, folk and dubstep. But, like Vessels’ music itself, somehow it also holds together cohesively.

Click here to listen to Martin’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 Deerhunter – Desire Lines
Play track. Rewind. Play track. Rewind. Play track etc. I think you get the idea. Basically a fantastic pop song, catchy as hell and surprisingly life-affirming for such a bunch of miserablists.

02 Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)
Can you smell something burning? …oh no, it’s James Holden and he’s on fire with this epic track. This has to be some of best techno I’ve ever heard.

03 Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy Jr
Heartbreakingly beautiful song. This gets me every time.

04 The Roots – Dear God
Another one that tugs at the heartstrings. Makes me feel better inside despite being a committed atheist. The drumbeat is immensely tasteful – especially the snare placement – and the production is absolutely sweet, almost as if they had a “make everything sound retro” button, and they pressed it.

05 Elliott Smith – Going Nowhere
More chirpy, cheerful, whimsical clowning around from the joker.

06 Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher
Total filth topped with great vocal melodies and lyrics. From a band I was convinced were totally past it. I was wrong – this is prime rawk. Nu-metal at its very best (apart from the first Limp Bizkit album. And the second Staind album).

07 Caribou – Niobe
This track is a sweet, sweet deal. With more than than a nod to Ibiza in the late 90s, this is a wonderful little piece of electronic bliss.

08 Burial and Four Tet – Moth
Awesome collaboration with the most infectious bassline groove. Every time I hear it I start dancing like a fool on the spot, which can be quite embarassing/difficult when catching the tube on a Monday morning.

09 Those Were The Days – Mary Hopkin
Sometimes I like to kick back with a glass of red, some pictures of old friends and indulge in a touch of nostalgia with this tune.

10 The Octopus Project – Mmaj
Prime eletronica with such a playful, childlike melody that I just can’t resist. Fists in the air time!