tempobet yeni adresi
like this article review

10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life

LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION)

Ten Albums That Changed My Life

Article
10/12/2016, Didier BECU

In our series we asked Leslie Irene Benson of the very fine synth act The Sweetest Condition to name those ten records that changed her life...

When selecting my top 10 favorite albums of all time, I had to travel down memory lane a bit and examine the most pivotal moments in my life and the music that influenced those moments. What albums had a lasting effect on me? Which ones spent the most time on rotation on my stereo over the years? Which ones did I find essential to helping make me who I am today?
To say that most of my favorite albums fall under the umbrella of goth-industrial music is a lie. I’d say it’s about 50/50. Of course I grew up listening to the classics—Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy and The Cure—but I also appreciate artists from other music genres that have shaped me, as well. Some of my major influences include David Bowie, Joan Baez, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Blondie, Billy Idol, Lou Reed, The Doors, Michael Jackson, and the list goes on. But for this article, I’m going to focus on some of the albums in particular that have stood the test of time. So in no particular order, here it goes.

DEPECHE MODE - Songs of Faith and Devotion
I have a strange addiction to Depeche Mode, hence my band’s namesake (The Sweetest Condition). Depeche Mode’s dichotomy between spirituality and sexuality formed the basis for my own musical journey. Each time I listen to Depeche Mode, I learn something new about myself. There are mysterious layers of infinite wisdom inside the lyrics and that low sultry croon from Dave Gahan, while Martin Gore’s exotic, quiet presence and genius touches each note. Songs like One Caress and Higher Love are a part of me, like gospel to all the fucked up relationships I’ve endured. I could list almost every Depeche Mode album as a favorite here (Violator is a close second), but this is the one I keep coming back to—the one I was first introduced to and fell in love with so many years ago.

NINE INCH NAILS- Pretty Hate Machine + The Downward Spiral
When I was a teenager, I discovered Nine Inch Nails. To be honest, his music videos scared me a little, but I was also deeply intrigued. Trent Reznor’s violent, rough, sweaty thrashing movements and his in-your-face messages were like a siren song. (I’ve had a thing for long dark hair ever since.) Head Like a Hole and Closer became anthems I’d secretly sing when my parents weren’t paying attention. And an underappreciated track is the instrumental A Warm Place. It reminds me of my first love. I lost him to suicide in 2011.

SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES- Through the Looking Glass
The Passenger, originally written by Iggy Pop, was always my favorite song from this album by the iconic voice of the post-punk generation. Siouxsie’s unique inflection and catchy, rhythmic style always appealed to me. I was also in awe of her cover of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit from 1939, a highly controversial and emotional song about prejudice and hate crimes. Siouxsie is a strong musician, but she also shows her fearlessness by tackling tough subjects. On a lighter note, she also made gothic fashion glamorous. Her Cleopatra eyes are still highly recognizable and replicated. I know, I’ve tried!

BAUHAUS- 1979-1983 Volume One
I began listening to Bauhaus a few years before Columbine gave kids wearing trench coats and combat boots a bad name. Back then, my friends and I were just trying to find ourselves. We felt empowered by the dark beauty of Peter Murphy’s haunting voice and complex, poetic lyrics. Songs like Hollow Hills, The Passion of Lovers and Silent Hedges gave me goosebumps. The music has stayed with me for two decades. A few months ago, I met my hero face to face during his Stripped-tour. Peter was a complete gentleman. And to me, he will always be music royalty.

SWITCHBLADE SYMPHONY - Serpentine Gallery
Back when friends traded mix tapes and CDs to share new music, I borrowed a copy of Serpentine Gallery and found a new sound I had never known was missing in my life. I listened to the album for many months. It was brilliant. Moody, dark and feminine… It embodied everything I was feeling at the time. I especially loved Dissolve. The haunting vocals and symphonic-industrial tone stuck with me. It’s a great listen even 20 years later, so much so that I recently picked up a copy of the limited edition vinyl, still available on Cleopatra Records.

THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE- Hide and Seek
There are so many great albums by The Birthday Massacre, but the high-quality production of Hide and Seek makes it an essential one. It’s an album I play on all road trips. I love the aggressiveness of songs like Down married with the danceable 80's feel of Calling. Other personal favorites are Leaving Tonight, Playing with Fire and Need. Chibi, in fact, had a huge influence on The Sweetest Condition’s debut album, Edge of the World. I invoked her dark playfulness on a few songs, including Control and Without You. I also thought of Chibi when I recorded the callbacks on Nein Nein Nein, a song from our upcoming second album We Defy Oblivion which will be released on Bandcamp later this year.

SHINY TOY GUNS – We Are Pilots” (2006)
Although Shiny Toy Guns wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves synthpop, they were definitely my first introduction to the genre. Packed with synth-infused, danceable, upbeat songs led by dual male-female singers, We Are Pilots is full of earworms. You Are the One and Don’t Cry Out are the ultimate love songs, and Le Disko is a guilty pleasure. I saw Shiny Toy Guns perform the album live when I worked as the music editor of NUVO Newsweekly in Indianapolis, Indiana. They gave a great interview, and I grew to respect the band for growing from the grassroots level. Their music is brilliantly catchy, and they care about their fans. Carah Faye is another hero of mine. She is a powerhouse on stage and such an inspiration.

OVER THE RHINE - Films for Radio
I entered the music realm teaching myself how to play guitar at age 15. So as an early singer-songwriter, I felt a connection with alt-folk artists. The classics like Joan Baez gave me a sense of the importance of storytelling and melody, and having grown up in Ohio, I felt a kinship with an up-and-coming duo in my own backyard, Over the Rhine, from Cincinnati. Performing bluesy, tenderhearted Americana, the angelic vocals of Karin Bergquist and the magic melodies by pianist and wordsmith Linford Detweiler drew me in for a lifelong love affair with their music. Their songs are carefully crafted like poetry or fine wine. I’ve been a loyal fan of Over the Rhine since the first time I heard Good Dog Bad Dog from 1996. But Films for Radio includes my favorites: The World Can Wait, If Nothing Else, Give Me Strength and When I Go. More than 10 albums later, I’m still giddy every time I hear them. They recently played an intimate show at the Franklin Theatre near Nashville, Tennessee. I sat at a table in the front row, soaking up their stories and laughter. It was like being at a family reunion. These songwriters are simply some of the most talented alt-folk musicians alive today. Hands down.

MURDER BY DEATH - Who Will Survive and What Will Become of Them?
Coming from a background in creative writing, I deeply appreciate the way words can give greater depth to music. So when I found Murder By Death, an indie band from Bloomington, Indiana, with a frontman that reminded me of a hipster Elvis (in a good way) and a perfectly gloomy female cellist, Sarah Balliet, I was hooked. This concept album, in particular, has a unique lo-fi, Western-tinged feel that tells a story of man versus evil. Take it as you may. Listen to the lyrics by Adam Turla on The Devil in Mexico: “It’s so fucking cold in here since you brought in the snow.” Turla has said the album is meant to evoke the “feeling of sitting around telling ghost stories.” At the time, he was a religious studies major, so he “tied in a lot of weird religious stuff.” That’s probably why it speaks to me so much. “Someone say a Hail Mary for this house. Bless the corners, and burn the devil out.” I love songs about sin, salvation and sex … Anyone else sensing a theme here?

THE CRANBERRIES - Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? + No Need to Argue
As many Gen X-ers, my introduction to Irish alt-rock band The Cranberries was through their first hit, “Linger,” on MTV. Dolores O’Riordan has since become my favorite female vocalist of all time. I have a soft spot for songs like Dreams, Wanted, I Will Always and Empty. But Zombie is my all-time anthem (and my go-to on karaoke night). When I was an angtsy pre-teen, I listened to The Cranberries on my walkman and sat in the shade under my favorite tree daydreaming, thinking of the future and trying to overcome all my childhood fears. I played these albums back to back for years. The Cranberries helped me survive adolescence. I owe them a lot. Thanks guys!

For this list, I left out a lot more albums that changed my life. It was a difficult process to try to narrow it down to just 10 albums. So much good music has affected me in indescribable ways. For instance, VNV Nation and Covenant were there for me during my wilder college years, but those are tales for another time. Thanks for reading, and thanks for listening.

Didier BECU
10/12/2016


10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life 10/12/2016 : LESLIE BENSON (THE SWEETEST CONDITION) - Ten Albums That Changed My Life

Music reviews

20
01
DEAD HIGH WIRE
Pray for us
19
01
DIVE
Live Maschinenfest 2017
16
01
EVI VINE
Black Light White Dark
08
01
DAEMONIA NYMPHE
PSYCHOSTASIA
28
12
MISS CHAMBERTALE
Berries and Tales
22
12
PAUL MADDOG AND HIS BAND AISLING
Winter In London

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

NEWS

19
01
CANADIAN DUO FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'WAKE UP THE COMA'
18
01
Israeli Dark Synthpop Artist LIYA Announces The Release Of LISTEN
17
01
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT Reveal New Single, 'The Chains of Fame' Off Upcoming LP
16
01
The Divine Rapture | Celebrating The Siouxsie and the Banshees 1995 Release
15
01
The Dreams Will Always Linger | Remembering Dolores O’Riordan - One Year Anniversary
14
01
Zwaremachine are heading over to Europe for 3 dates in January!

Concert reviews

15
01
PALAIS IDEAL & DAGEIST
B52 - Eernegem - 16/12/2018
14
01
STAR INDUSTRY, DAGEIST, KEZDOWN
EGW- ROCK, Jeugdhuis Asgaard
06
01
RITUAL SERVICE, MOTHER WITCH AND & DEAD WATER GHOSTS AND GOOSLA
Live at The Volume Club, Kiev, 7th December 2018
16
11
HEILUNG
Live at The Islington Assembly Hall
06
11
INCONCESSUS LUX LUCIS
30
10
SERPENTYNE
European Tour 2018

GET A COPY OF OUR MAGAZINE
SEND TO YOUR HOME

INTERVIEWS

18
01
WULFBAND
If you feel that guitars would destroy whatever you think Wulfband is about, stay at home
17
01
ANY SECOND
The Eighth Sin Is The Human Himself
31
12
SIMI NAH
Balancing between the 'normal' world and the 'artistic' world was frustrating, but perhaps led us to make our best record ever!
27
12
ALIEN SEX FIEND
Alien Sex Fiend Is A State Of Mind And Not A Choreographed Or Rehearsed Thing
24
12
SIEBEN
The European Union are kinder overlords than the ones we may well inherit, out on our own, pretending we are not part of the world.

PHOTOS

20
12
COVENANT
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
20
12
LEAETHER STRIP
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
20
12
AGENT SIDE GRINDER
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
20
12
GERTRUD STEIN
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
20
12
NZ
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
20
12
STAHLR
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
20
12
AMNISTIA
BIMFest XVII, De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

ADVERTISE
IN PEEK-A-BOO

VIDEO CLIPS

20
01
SOPHIA (S)
Herbstwerk
19
01
OY
A New Planet Is Born
18
01
HEIMATAERDE
Hoch hinaus
17
01
CENT ANS DE SOLITUDE
The unacceptable face of beauty
16
01
PLANETDAMAGE
Hi Rez Lo Life
15
01
SCHULTZ
I hate You
14
01
LOLA ANGST
Wie Gott