The 5 most influential albums of all time: An introduction

Welcome to Set List! This blog is the result of a lot of work, a lot of love and a considerable amount of turned down pieces for music websites. Set List is an attempt to make a difference in the music and news industries and be a part of something that was always a part of me. In here you’ll get music, album and concerts reviews, interviews and every type of content about artists I believe in and I want to see move forward in their careers.

If you came here because you know my writing and want to support me with something new: thank you and stay for the show because this post is for you too. And if you don’t know me and got here because you love music or one of the artists I’ve covered, let me introduce myself: 

My name is Giulia. I’m a young adult author and journalist from Brazil. Like literally every evangelical-raised latinx you know, I come from a family of choir and wedding singers. Everyone from the older generations of my family either has musical talent, or believe they do. As the oldest, my mom sung in all the weddings of all her siblings, cousins and friends. As a kid, she tried to put me on the same track and, for a while, it worked. I had my fair share of church solos before I hit puberty and I did my best to be in every Christian musical production I could. Soon enough she realized she created a monster though, because I would always criticize and make faces while she was performing because I knew her strengths and weaknesses after hearing her rehash so much. What my mom didn’t understand and even I, myself, didn’t get completely is that my love for music didn’t lie in creating it. My love was in immersing myself in music and playing songs so many times I knew everything that was to know about them. And used that information against other people.

Growing up, music had a huge influence on me. When I was really young, my dream was to play piano. Not learn how to play it, just touch it. Go over the keys while standing up and looking as the strings made sound. To see what key did what. One day I went to church on my own and got there too early and I was left alone with a piano. For one glorious hour it was just me, the piano and a string of notes that didn’t sound like anything in particular. After that, my dream had come true. I didn’t need to learn how to make magic, I just needed to understand how making magic feels.

Even though music was a part of me from day one, it was only at 17 that conquered my musical independence. After finding my favorite band thanks to Vine, I fell in love with music the way I was always meant to. I was obsessed with indie music and finding new music by all means necessary for all of that year. Drowning myself with so much music journalism on my first year of journalism school, but not quite realizing yet that this is what I was meant to be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do it. I just thought I’d never be able to because I didn’t know enough about music. It took me three other years to finally muster the courage to become a music journalist and to call myself that – and I would never had reached that courage if it wasn’t for my favorite musician ever (but that’s a story for another day). In 2018 I became a writer for The Wild Honey Pie and started pitching for other websites.

Set List eventually came from this and for the feeling that there’s more I should be doing and that if I want a platform, I can build one myself. Of course, none of this would’ve happened if it wasn’t for my favorite musicians and albums and this is why I chose to talk about them on this first post. That and because by seeing what I consider to be the most influential albums of all time (maybe not to the world, but 100% to my personality) you’ll know exactly what to expect from this page and you’ll decide if the support is worth it! Enjoy

Our Own House (2015)

MisterWives’ debut album is a love letter to the band. Written in entirely by the band’s vocalist Mandy Lee and produced by drummer Etienne Bowler, the album was recorded between their bedroom and the studio on Bowler’s parents’ house in Riverdale, Bronx. That same house had a big yard with a tree house Bowler built himself and was a safe place for Lee – his then girlfriend, now wife – to write music for the band they were a part of and loved so much. Most of the songs are about the 6-person band’s relationship and love for each other. From Our Own House came the band’s biggest success like Reflections, Vagabond and the title track.

Off Brand (2019)

First full lenght project for singer-songwriter and actress Kira Kosarin, Off Brand is a scream of independence to a world that wanted to control every part of her life. The 7-track album is fun and snarky while also being honest and vulnerable, destroying any notion people had of her before she could stablish her own artistry. Off Brand Music is also the independent label she put her music under, an answer to all of the times she was told to be “on brand” for a brand that wasn’t who she was. Kosarin’s next project is expected for later this year.

The Rhumb Line (2008)

To indie rock fans, Ra Ra Riot can either be a household name or the next band you never heard of but is about to fall in love with. A lot of that is due to their 12-year-old debut album, The Rhumb Line. With a classic sound that the band eventually grew out of but still makes fans still be in love with it to this day, the album is a delicious soundtrack to the best moments of your coming-of-age real life movie. Ra Ra Riot is currently on tour, singing songs of their 5th album, Superbloom, released a year after the 10-year-anniversary special rerelease of The Rhumb Line.

King Con (2012)

The fact that King Con is still Alex Winston’s only full-length project should be considered a crime. It’s not her fault; the comes and goes of the music industry made it so her releases had to be scattered but nonetheless loved by fans and journalists. However, considered her most indie-girl voiced project, King Con still has her most underrated music. Winston says she wrote most of that album based on stories she watched on reality TV from people she was imagining to be. It’s clearly that those stories still influence her music, as in 2019 she released the music video for Miss U 1000000 with Colt from 90-Day Fiancé and shook the world of reality TV fans. Her theatrical, yet natural choices, makes it so her music, even the first of them can be entirely art.

FOOLS (2015)

FOOLS has a whole storyline within itself. Wild Child’s third album came about after one of the vocalists – Kelsey Wilson – had her heart broken with a failed engagement. The album can then be interpreted as a breakup album but it feels more like an entire love story: beginning, middle and end. Fools has every melody a good wedding band would want to play on your folksy wedding, but it has the lyrics of a good heartbreak country song. It’s only fair that a band from Austin would do something like that. The band is currently on break while the two vocalists, Wilson and Alexander Beggins, work on solo projects but they’ll still occasionally play together and are expected to release their 5th album at some point in the next couple of years.

Click here for an exclusive Spotify playlist with the 5 albums and other music that influenced Set List

Set List doesn’t own the rights to any of the images featured on this piece. Cover art by Shutterstock.  Albums artwork belong to the artists. 

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