What’s On Michael Portillo’s iPod: Alpha Male Tea Party

Here at Birthday Cake For Breakfast, we like to get to the heart of what an artist is all about. We feel the music they listen to is just as important as the music they make. With that in mind, we’re delighted to have the wonderful Alpha Male Tea Party collectively talk us through five releases that shaped their upcoming LP!

Number 1: Everything Everything’s album Get To Heaven (2015)

Probably collectively our favourite band, we were absolutely tanning this record while writing ‘Health’. Funny really; we’re a relatively heavy band but these days don’t really listen to lots of guitar heavy music anymore. EE are just one those bands that are super inspiring with the way they use timbre, space and melody to craft their music. The album is one of those properly great listens where sonically it goes all over the place, each track has it’s own really distinctive soundscape and space but they still manage to convey a sense of cohesion and very much a sense of identity throughout. Proper banger of a record.”

Number 2: Billy Joel’s album The Stranger (1977)

We listen to this album on tour all the time. It’s well good. Billy knows how to write a whopping pop song and ‘Moving Out’ has got one of the coolest riffs of all time in it. He also really knows how to get off his chops and flip a piano over on Russian television. A true hero.”

Number 3: Three Trapped Tigers’ album Silent Earthling (2016)

It took them 5 years to make this album and you can tell because the breadth and scope of it is nothing short of majestic. ‘Route One or Die’ was definitely one of our favourite records but this came along and smashed that out of the water. The energy of this band is amazing, propelled by old super chops Adam Betts on the drums. The way they seamlessly fuse guitar sounds with electronics it utterly glorious.” 

Number 4: David Bowie’s album Blackstar (2016)

This album came out pretty much bang in the middle of the writing process of ‘Health’. I think the influence is more about atmosphere than it is about songs. It’s a really fucking weird album; tons of really dark introspective moments and obviously everything that was happening in Bowie’s life while writing it shaped the album hugely. Being an instrumental band such as we are, it’s a little bit harder to convey emotions in the same way you can with lyrics but the instrumental elements on this record are very, very cool and very inspiring to us. The title track is probably the best example of how he stitched a load of weird creeping atmosphere into the record.

Number 5: Body Hound’s EP Rhombus Now (2014)

“I couldn’t really finish this list without mentioning one of our contemporaries since the scene we’re in is so incestuous. It pains me to say it (because they are pals and you don’t say nice things about your pals) but this EP was a massive eye opener for us or at least, certainly for me. In a world where you’re constantly informed by media pundits and journalists that everything has been done with guitar music, a band like Body Hound remind you that that statement is just lazy bullshit. Effortlessly groovy and sonically one of the most interesting out there, they force you to rethink what you can do with a guitar; a band that can make something utterly disgusting sound very, very nice. We’re also thrilled to have them playing our album launch on June 23rd.

‘Health’ is out June 23rd on Big Scary Monsters! Pre order here!

Like what you see? Why not stick around and check out the other articles and interviews!
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