Influences Playlist: Vicky Farewell

These are the 15 songs that influenced the LA singer-songwriter's new album, Give a Damn, the most.

Music Features Vicky Farewell
Influences Playlist: Vicky Farewell

Today marks the inaugural installment of our new series, Influences. Here, we are inviting our favorite musicians to compile playlists of the songs and artists who have impacted their latest projects the most. Our first guest is Vicky Farewell, whose 2022 debut album, Sweet Company, flew criminally under the radar—despite tracks like “Are We OK?” and “Get Me” being such inescapable, candy-coated pop gems. Farewell’s latest LP, the aromatic, blissful Give a Damn, soars high. Lead single “Tern Me On” continued Farewell’s sugary and dreamy trademark, fleshing out melodies that not only stick with you but worm their way right into the sweet spots of your ears.

The simplicity of songs like “Textbook” and “Love Ya Like Me” is rivaled only by Give a Damn‘s own sublime, bulletproof, overarching soundscape. Farewell channels ’70s soul and the liquid rhythms of that decade’s funk hits, but not in an overpowering way. A record like Give a Damn succeeds because of its restraint and groove, boasting a finely-measured catchiness that makes her the coolest artist on Mac DeMarco’s label roster. You can listen to an album like this 20 times in a row and never grow tired of it.

Check out Vicky Farewell’s Influences playlist, which includes tracks from Heatwave, Norman Connors and the Sonic soundtrack, below:

Sylvia: “Sweet Stuff”

I love Sylvia. She is so sensual and seductive, there is no faking it with her, don’t play. We have a similar tone, and I was definitely channeling her energy on most of the record.

Take 6: “I’m On My Way”

Take 6 vocal production is unmatched. I wish I could sound this crispy and smooth and still retain all that groove. The backgrounds on “Push It” and “Make Me” are reminiscent of their style.

??: “I’m Your Lover”

I love the playfulness of this recording. The background vocals are so catchy. I’ve listened to this song so much throughout the year, it’s become a part of me.

Heatwave: “All You Do is Dial”

Another vocal production that I admire. I love the chords in this song. The harmonies really carry the song, and I tried doing something like that on several of the Give A Damn songs.

Rita Lee: “Mutante”

I’ve listened to this song so many damn times by now, it will stay with me to the end of my days. It’s so colorful and everything about it makes sense to me. I totally get it.

Janet Jackson: “Would You Mind”

I would be a complete liar if I didn’t include Janet in this mix. Her influence on me is too strong, I have to always honor her. This song is so damn sexy, and she says the nastiest things on here (Miss Jackson!). It gave me the courage to write the lyrics for “Make Me” and “Tern Me On.”

Black Harmony: “Longing to Hold You”

I love how sweet the perspective of this song takes. What a total sweetheart. I remember being in love like that, and wanting nothing but to shower that someone with care and appreciation. Always There and Love Ya Like me vibes here.

Willie Gonzalez: “Hazme Olvidarla”

The emotional turmoil of this song gets me every time. I looove the lyrics. “Hazme olvidarla por favor, hazme olvidarla,” make me forget her, please make me forget her. AHHHH! I may or may not have over-exaggerated some of the songs, Textbook and Tern Me On come to mind.

Sonic Adventure 2 Original Soundtrack: “Event: The Last Scene”

I love video game music. I grew up during the Sega Dreamcast era, lots of workstation synth vibes. I can’t help it, it got me good. It’s sprinkled throughout the entire record.

Yuji Ohno: “Sunset”

Flamboyant space disco. I love how different this track is, it’s such a standout banger to me. Lots of development in between sections and humbly takes its time. The horn arrangements are so sick. I like to write my background harmonies as though they were horn arrangements.

Norman Connors ft. Ada Dyer: “Invitation”

I fell in love with this song from the opening line. What a badass singer, Ada Dyer. A legend who upon research has sung and recorded with just about every important figure in the music industry. I don’t quite have her range and style, but I am so inspired by her emotional dedication. She left zero crumbs.

Arthur Prysock: “I Stood Where You Left Me”

Composed by the great Mort Garson of Plantasia fame. I love his work, and Arthur’s voice is so sexy and engaging. When the strings come in, I am no longer on this earth. Breathtaking, beautiful, and abstract. I am so glad this piece exists.

Armando Manzanero: “Mía”

Yeah, I’m a sucker for die hard romance songs. I want to be this dramatic in my songs. Please. I also know this song by heart in Spanish. I love it so much.

The Electric Prunes: “Onie”

I love the lyrics and the writing. A perfect pop song. It was written by Nancie Mantz and Annette Tucker. So much emotional intelligence and understanding to arrive at this work. Inspired me to dig deeper and pull out all these words into my own music.

Robert Lester Folsom: “Music and Dreams”

I am so glad this song got a second wind and we all get to appreciate it. Makes me emotional and sentimental every time. I love how simple it is in its approach, musical in every way, thoughtful without saying too much.

Vicky Farewell’s Give a Damn is out now via Mac’s Record Label.

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