Unlocked: Aaron Brown of Aaron and the Spell shares his video playlist of influences

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Listening to Aaron and the Spell‘s new full-length Sing, you can tell that songwriter Aaron Brown pulls from a large pool of influences. The primary sound is soul, for sure, but there’s a lot more going on than just that. We asked Aaron put together a video playlist of artists that have shaped him as a songwriter. Here are his picks.

Wilco “Side With the Seeds”

“I am a huge fan of Wilco and was so excited to see them at the XPoNential Music Festival. They definitely seep into my music (especially this song).”

Nina Simone “I Love You Porgy”

“Maybe my favorite musician ever. This is the tune that first broke Nina to a wider audience and it happened in Philadelphia! I believe she used to live in West Philly for a time. I’m always walking Philadelphia hoping to bump into one of her relatives still living here.”

Sananda Maitreya (Terence Trent D’arby) “Undeniably”

“What a beautiful song and musically adventurous dude. I definitely try to follow in his steps, when writing, to be musically open when inspiration pays a visit.”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Hiding All Away”

“This is my favorite Nick Cave tune. The ferocity and tension in the tune is something I really dig and have been trying to incorporate into my stuff. Plus, the background singing is amazing.”

Jacques Brel “Ne me quitte pas”

“This tune really opened me up to being emotional on stage. For a number of years i was super obsessed with Jacques Brel. What an amazing performance.”

Bilal “When Will You Call”

“He’s another Philly person. I think he’s from Germantown. It was such a revelation to hear his music and see him perform. Listening to him, in a very similar way to Terence Trent D’arby, opened me up to many possibilities.”

Sing is the featured album in this edition of Unlocked; hear the spotlighted single “Don’t Cry” in Monday’s post, read yesterday’s album review; and check back tomorrow for an interview with Brown and Friday for an archived Philly Local Hour session.