In the latest of our Guestlist series, Berlin based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and artist ORIAN chats about the 10 songs that shaped him as an artist. ORIAN is the moniker for Irish born and Berlin based Joey Ryan. With influences varying from Bon Iver to The National and Hozier to Future Island, ORIAN’s style is a mix of guitar based melody and folktronica indie pop.
I Need My Girl - The National
This song is one of many I could pick from this band, who are one of my most favourite bands. I love everything from the production, songwriting and lyrical standpoint. Matt Behringer has to be one of the most emotive vocalists out there and live, he just brings it to another level. It leaves me in tears every time. I remember going to see The National in Berlin on my own in 2018. They were playing two nights, and I grabbed a ticket for the first night. I spent the entire show in an emotional bliss, so much so that the next day I called in sick to my job at the time and spent the entire day on ebay looking for a ticket for the second show. Found one two hours before stage time, and went again. Don’t regret a thing.
Garden Song - Phoebe Bridgers
I discovered Phoebe Bridgers last year and I have been obsessed since. Her lyrics, vocals, and productions are incredible. The way she draws the listener in is incredible, and her voice has a sincerity to it that just can’t be faked. She is also a bit rock and roll in her approach which I think is something lacking in today’s music world - my fave indie artist at the moment by far.
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen has been with me since my childhood. I hear this song and feel alive. There’s a massive weight of emotion and power attached to this song for me. I think this song just sounds like youth, breaking out from your hometown in your 20s to chase your dreams, captured in a roaring wall of guitars. I’ll be a Bruce fanatic until the day I die.
Turn the Page - Metallica
I am a massive metal fan and one of my favourite bands ever is Metallica. I don't think I have ever connected with a band as much as I have with Metallica, and while they might not be getting a spin everyday on my listening anymore, there is rarely a week that goes by where I don’t interact with their music in some shape or form. This cover is one of my favourite tracks by them, I just think it sounds so huge and packs a punch unlike any other. Battery would be a close second place.
The Wire - HAIM
I remember driving home from a rehearsal when I was younger and this song coming on the radio, and I hated it at first. Then not only could I not get rid of the beat and melody out of my head, but I fell in love with the song, the record and the band. HAIM are the epitome of cool, and I love their productions, lyrics, the sounds they get on their records and their live shows are pure rocked up greatness. The Wire made me realize there is always room for electric guitar in indie pop music.
Perth - Bon Iver
I think this song is really what started me on my journey into music production and creating different colours on my recordings. When I first heard this song and album as an 18 year old, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that there was so much detail buried in every song. It was honestly mind altering for me, and whilst I didn’t really come to wrap my head around this kind of approach to music for another eight years or so, it really influenced the direction I took. I also pretty much can’t listen to this record without shedding some tears, as I honestly feel like Bon Iver captures such devastating emotion, and really grabs your heart strings. Even like those wonderful lines like in Holocene ‘And at once I knew, I was not magnificent’, it just served as such a stoic and blatantly beautiful reminder as to how small and insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things, but sung in a way that makes you feel important. Bon Iver is one the most wonderful artists I have ever connected with.
Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
From the initial snare hit at the top of this track I am drawn back to my childhood which was thankfully soundtracked by the likes of Nina Simone, Bowie, Billy Joel and Bob Dylan. Dylan is one of the reasons I am a musician, and someone who has been there with me during every period of my life so far. It’s funny how the older you get, the meaning and your previous connections to songs can change. With Dylan I am always finding new inspiration and meaning in his music. An incredible artist, and one of my biggest influences.
The Nameless - Slipknot
I bought the record that this song is on (2004’s Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses) on the day of my primary school tour, which was also my very last day. I can honestly say it again changed my life more than leaving primary school did. I had never before heard anything like it. It is so dark, so angry, so brutal. I was almost afraid of it. Slipknot in general are a band that makes you know it’s okay to be different, and that it’s okay to be angry at the world. It gave me an outlet, and it reassured me that there were people and communities out there in the world where you didn’t have to wear a GAA jersey to fit in. It was a calling card to those who didn’t fit in, and it spoke to me like no other record. The vocals on this track are stunning, and you can just hear the pain and emotion in every note. So raw. One of my favourite albums ever.
Talk Tonight - Oasis
The first album I ever owned was the Masterplan by Oasis, and I think I was around 10 or 11 when I bought it. I became a massive Oasis fan over the next few years, and still am, but Talk Tonight is by far my favourite song. I remember listening to it on loop to the point where I nearly wore down the tape, and just loving the atmosphere of the acoustic and the lyrics. ‘All your dreams are made of strawberry lemonade’ was a line I always thought was so cool. As I got older I realized there are definitely better and more complete Oasis songs that I love, but Talk Tonight has a special place in my heart. It was one of the first songs I learned on guitar too.
Where The Streets have No Name - U2
This song still to this day gives me chills. From that opening beautiful sweeping synth, to the trickling echoes of the Edge’s lick, it just hits me. There was a time in my life when U2 were everything to me, and while I am a much bigger fan of Achtung Baby! and All That You Can’t Leave Behind era, Streets is one of their greatest songs and it gets to me every time. First time I saw them live they opened their encore with this song, and I’ll never forget the euphoria I felt. I had queued up for 12 hours to be in front of the stage, and it began raining just as the strains of that guitar intro crept through the PA. I lost myself and ended up hugging some stranger beside me who was in tears. A magical moment due to a magical song.
ORIAN will release his new track 'What Pulls You' tomorrow (Friday). Be sure to check it out and follow ORIAN on Spotify, Bandcamp and Instagram.