WHITE: Under the Influence

Feature by WHITE | 20 Apr 2017
  • White

As their debut album One Night Stand Forever hits the shelves, we talk to Lewis Andrew, Leo Condie and Kirstin Lynn about the records which inspired them

Arcade Fire – Reflektor
[Sonovox / Merge, 2013]
This album was a real eye opener. Coming from writing mainly acoustic music, and not venturing too much into electronic sounds, this album was almost a psychological green card to experiment a bit further than my comfort zone in productions. Without this album I have no idea what we would sound like. [Lewis Andrew]

Cristina – Sleep It Off
[ZE Records, 1984]
Like a parallel universe dark-side Madonna, Cristina's songs are gloomy, sublime, angry tales of the young & insecure growing up amidst the decadent madness of the '80s. I love that she explores all sides of wanton debauchery, I love how her cold delivery still holds so much depth, and I love that the centrepiece of the album is a gruesome Brecht/Weill song. I first heard this LP while we were in the middle of writing, & it felt perfect for where my head was. [Leo Condie]

LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
[DFA / Capitol / EMI, 2007]
In my first few weeks in the band, I found myself saying 'kind of like this LCD track' on pretty much a daily basis. It helped that the guys were obsessing over Reflektor (co-produced by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy) at that point, so we got the James Murphy fanboy club established pretty quickly. This is my most listened-to record of all time and pure dance punk perfection to my ears. It kicks in grooving and really doesn't stop, though there are huge electrosplurging percussive ballads in Someone Great and All My Friends that allow you to take a sip of breath before immersing yourself back in the shimmer of disco balls and head-pulsing synths. The mix of electronic and organic sounds here are the sweet spot that we find ourselves aiming longingly at in much of One Night Stand Forever. [Kirstin Lynn]

Missy Elliott – Under Construction
[Elektra Records, 2002]
I've always enjoyed hip-hop, and always try to find inspiration from it where I can. This album is a bit of a masterpiece; the simplicity in Timbaland's production is what really does it for me. He manages to take a simple idea, stretch it so far, and truly investigate everything a little part can do. For our album we definitely have got some tracks that in essence are just one little idea that we just kept on exploring. [LA]

Todd Terje – It's the Arps
[Smalltown Supersound, 2012]
Had this EP on repeat for a long time;, it's a great mix of modern dance with completely analogue sounds (the whole thing was played on a mid-70s ARP 2600 synth). At a time when I was obsessing over Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cluster and Kraftwerk; records like this and Nite Versions by Soulwax were huge inspirations for making analogue sound huge and modern. [LC]

Kanye West – Yeezus
[Def Jam Recordings, 2013]
Kanye has a 'pretty much anything is possible' approach to his sound that we all love. Retaining his identity and raw physical energy whilst veering through diverse styles and times, this is another go-to album and reminds me so much of touring last year. This record inspired synth sounds, samples and using modified vocals as percussive hooks and counter melodies. [KL]

Gesaffelstein – Aleph
[Parlophone, 2013]
This album is filled with such aggressive and huge-sounding electronic productions, I was listening to this quite a lot during the recording process of the second half of the album. I just loved the sound of it; I believe the French have some secret that the rest of us just don't know, but we were striving for something as sonically huge as this! [LA]

St. Vincent – St. Vincent
[Loma Vista / Republic, 2014]
Our plan for launching the band was always the UFO approach – land on planet Earth & already seem fully-formed, everything in place. It made sense therefore to listen to music by someone who is genuinely from another planet. Songs like Prince Johnny are brilliant self-contained little worlds and her lyrical voice comes from such a unique place, a compassionate twist on the alien gaze perfected by the likes of David Byrne. I love that approach to songwriting. [LC]

Soulwax – Nite Versions
[Modular Recordings, 2005]
We want to make music to dance all night to; the pulsing bass of a club, fat synths and drum grooves to lose hours to, created live by a band operating as a single unit. Soulwax were the first band I ever realised could make this happen and it's an album that time and time again I'll reference when we're writing. Tracks like E-Talking and Krack are just complete wonders, and although we might sit on the poppier side of the fence lyrically and in song structures, sonically the pounding drums, driving bass and synths are a level of filth that we flirt more and more with. [KL]

Sparks – No. 1 in Heaven
[Virgin Records, 1979]
I've always loved acts that straddled pop & weird – Bowie, Talking Heads, Kraftwerk – taking risks but still making dancefloors shake every weekend. Sparks definitely fit there for me & this record in particular, produced by Giorgio Moroder, is witty, one-off, strange, but perfect to dance to. We were mainlining Moroder during the early weeks of writing & this was on all the time. [LC]

One Night Stand Forever is released on 21 Apr via Gentlemen Recordings https://calledwhite.com/