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Emerging as part of the London indie-rock scene around 2005, The Mystery Jets are an English Indie Rock band, formerly based on Eel Pie Island in London. Recently launching their fourth studio album Radlands, the Mystery Jets have transformed their sound yet again drawing inspiration from Austin, Texas southern rock roots. Get acquainted with The Mystery Jets, and listen along as Blaine Harrison, lead vocalist, shares a playlist of his favourite tracks for this week’s Selected Sounds.hsc-selected-sounds-mystery-jets

Photo: Rachael Wright

1. How do you find the music you listen to?

I go through periods of picking up all the music papers and going on amazon binges. I think it’s to do with obsessively needing to feel connected to all the new music being released in the world, but then I have periods of resorting back to just listening to Neil Young albums. And my record collection was a pretty good reflection of that. But then my car got stolen with most of my Neil Young records in it. So now i’m just left with all the other crap.

2. What is your favourite way to enjoy music?

Driving around in my car (before it got stolen). I could never understand why people drove, or equally what the purpose of CDs were. But the minute i put my key in the ignition it all made perfect sense. Music sounds so much better with lights flying past you at 90 mph on the motorway

3. What excites you about finding new music?

I think a big part of it comes from that feeling of discovery, and wanting to keep it to yourself. But if a record is really great, other people will start talking about it too, and slowly this thing which went from being your secret, is everyone else’s secret too and then you hear it in H&M and something inside you dies. I think that’s why a lot of band’s early fans end up deserting them in time. From the perspective of someone who plays in a band, i see the arc of a band’s career as being like a long, meandering train ride. People are going to get off at some stations and others are going to get on. Some of them will realize they caught the wrong train, but others will stay and ride it till the wheels come off.

4. What tracks/and or artists comprise your personal soundtrack right now?

Im listening to a lot of space rock. There is a lot of rock around but not enough space. Certainly not in Pop music. Actually i think that is why people really took to artists like the XX and James Blake, because there is room to breathe in their music. For the first time in so long you could actually hear something on the radio that had dynamic range instead of all this disgustingly compressed crap that made you feel like your brain was being squished out of your ears. They call it ‘brickwalling’.

Alex from the Monkeys recently commented that all he listens to know is hip hop which is exactly what he did before guitar music came back around ten years ago. And i feel kind of the same way. We are at the end of a cycle. All the stokes have kids and are recovering alcoholics. The scene isn’t as tribal as it was when we came out, everyones kind of out there, floating on their own. I think thats why i’m listening to a lot of space rock.

5. Who do you trust to give an honest evaluation of new tracks?

As in who do i play my own new music to? I guess my dad, he is very involved with my songs, we finish the words together. I bring him the lyrics and basically say ‘make this sound eloquent and articulate!’. But mostly I am quite private with it until the last moment. Iv’e always felt the creative process is a lot like childbirth in so many ways. Why would you want to tell the world all about your baby before its even born? i mean, it might have red hair, it might have black hair, who knows? it might not want you to tweet videos of it to everyone you know before it even knows what it is. I feel like that about songs. But then after we put the record out i always distance myself from it. The mastering process is the last time i usually hear the album and then i’m done. I have to step away or else i carry on hearing all the things i still want to change, but by that time it’s too late. You have to relinquish control and go let it out into the world and live a life of it’s own.

View the full interview on Herschel Supply 

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