Turnstile’s Brendan Yates: The 10 songs that changed my life

Turnstile frontman Brendan Yates uncovers some gems in his record collection – from Bowie to Beach House…

Turnstile’s Brendan Yates: The 10 songs that changed my life
Ian Winwood

Turnstile vocalist Brendan Yates reflects on a life soundtracked by pirated mixtapes, annoying alarm tones and the perils of two left feet…

The first song that I remember hearing...The Marcels – Blue Moon (1961)

“I remember my mom and dad driving around and playing the radio in the car, so I would have heard Blue Moon that way. The song was totally memorable to me as a kid, and I remember thinking that The Marcels were pretty wild. Every time I hear it on the radio, it brings me right back to riding around with my parents, so that’s pretty special.”

The song that reminds me of my childhood...The Prodigy – Breathe (1997)

“When I was young I used to carry around a little cassette and radio player, and every day I would call into a local radio station requesting this song. I would make mixtapes off the radio; whenever a song came on that I really liked I would press record and put it on my tape. I used to have hundreds of these tapes. I called the radio station so many times pestering them to play this.”

The first song I ever fell in love with...Dionne Warwick – That’s What Friends Are For (1985)

“My connection with this song goes back to getting dropped off at pre-school and being upset. My mom used to have a tape that some friends had made of her and my dad doing a karaoke version of it, and they later gave me the tape. I used to cry all day at pre-school, but listening to them singing always calmed me down. There was a cassette player at the pre-school, and to stop me crying they would play the tape of them singing this song. It was like a sonic pacifier for me.”

The song that I can’t listen to anymore...D.R.I. – Abduction (1989)

“I think the song is awesome, but it used to be programmed into my old phone so it would play, like, 20 times a day. I had it set as my alarm, as well for other things, and it got to the point where I’d hear it so much and it was bugging me that I just couldn’t stand to hear it anymore. I actually think the song is great, but these days, any time that it comes on, I just have to shut it off.”

The first song that I moshed to...Bloody Sunday – Friend Was Your Name (2000)

“There were probably a few little neighbourhood bands I got excited about initially, but the first band I ever remember moshing to at a major league show would be Bloody Sunday from Virginia Beach. We used to go see them at a community centre, and I remember me and my friends stage-diving loads. Friend Was Your Name was a particular favourite of mine for stage-diving and acting crazy in the pit. They’re a really good band."

The song that made me want to be in a band...Nirvana – School (1989)

“I’m referring to the live version on From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah, which me and my friends used to listen to together. There’s something about it that made me so excited. I painted a picture in my head of Nirvana playing it, and of the crowd going crazy. I played it in music class for my schoolmates and everyone was like, ‘What is this?!’”

The song that reminds me of my first love...Beach House – Take Care (2010)

“Certain songs are connected to certain memories, and this is a beautiful song that’s connected to a beautiful memory. I don’t really want to get too specific on it, and I don’t want to be too indiscreet. But the song reminds me of a beautiful person and a beautiful time in my life.”

The song that picks me up when I’m down...David Bowie – Let’s Dance (1983)

“This is such a big song and every time it comes on I want to dance. It really sucks you in and it’s always my first request to get the dancefloor going, even though I’m not a good dancer. I have actually DJ’ed a couple of times, and that’s the song I always use to set the mood. It always does the trick.”

The Turnstile song that makes me proud...Turnstile – Time + Space (2018)

“I think it’s a really good representation of where we’re at sonically, and I also think it’s a good representation of where I’m at, both emotionally and mentally. I’m not sure that when I reflect on this period of my life that I’ll be able to say whether it was a good or a bad time, but I do hope to look back and say that the good stuff outweighed the bad.”

The song I would like played at my funeral...T.Rex – Cosmic Dancer (1971)

“I think this is one of the most beautiful songs ever. The concept of the song is that there is a person who came out of the womb dancing, and they continued to dance their way through life all the way to the tomb. I think that there’s something about it. I’d like to hear it as my spirit flies into the sky.”

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