Jamie Backhouse, Austin Murphy and Ned Crowther of THE FERNWEH have put together a playlist of songs that were key touchstones for the band in the making of their debut self-titled album. Set to arrive later in the year – with first single The Liar out now – you can find out a little more about the songs that made them tick and listen to their full playlist below, as well as check out the video for The Liar, which sees John Wadsworth’s vintage footage effortlessly looped together to soundtrack their shimmering guitars and synth. 

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Giles, Giles And Fripp

Why Don’t You Just Drop In (i)

Voiceprint Records

Rich vocal harmonies and raunchy, fuzzy guitar courtesy of Robert Fripp’s pre-King Crimson group. As well as the sounds, the self-recorded aspect drew me to this song. It’s inspiring to find that you can achieve great sounds from such simple equipment. Revox tape machine in their case – a laptop and a cheap microphone in ours. It’s something that is really exciting about the current state of music making. Reminds me of when we took our entire ‘studio’ to Robin Hood’s Bay to record the album. AM

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Alvvays

Archie, Marry Me

Transgressive

There are lots of heavy folk and psych references in the Fernweh camp, but we’re also pretty big fans of a good pop song. And this is one of the best that’s been written for a while. Lovely sentiment, huge chorus, proper middle eight. And the stop before the final chorus is something every song should have. JB

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Kraftwerk

Neon Lights

Capitol

I can vividly remember Austin putting this song on the van stereo towards the end of a particularly gruelling bit of a tour all three of us were on years back. It was just a moment. Everyone was silent, half-asleep and emotionally fried. Then suddenly this beautiful, healing music came out as we pounded some British motorway in the middle of the night. NC

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Harmonia

Dino

Brain

Those dreamy, trance-like elements were definitely an influence on the synth/keys sections on our first single, The Liar, and Dressing Up Box. Rhythmically, that motorik drum machine was a big influence on The Liar too. Mesmerising stuff from Herr Rother and co. AM

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Fleetwood Mac

Dust

Reprise

The phrase ‘fernweh feeling’ came up a few times whilst writing this record – a kind of shared reference for something that we felt lurking in our music. A bit like the word ‘fernweh’ itself – a place that you couldn’t necessarily name, but get pulled towards. Danny Kirwan’s music has something similar in there. Especially Dust. Most people think of Peter Green or Rumours with Fleetwood Mac, but somewhere in the middle is Danny Kirwan. There are three or four pretty odd, off-the-beaten-track albums they made in the early 70s that no-one really cares about… except for The Fernweh! This song is from an album called ‘Bare Trees’. Words by Rupert Brooke. Quite haunting. Very English. Love it. JB

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Anne Briggs

Living By The Water

Topic

Anne Briggs is known (if you can use that term) more as an acapella singer of traditional English folk song. But the stuff she writes is incredible. ‘On the lonely sands of the western strands, it was there I made my way.’  Simple words, simple melody, but again it takes you somewhere. This time to the water – which seems to be a reoccurring theme on our album. Only one of The Fernweh is from ‘by the water’ but the rest are keen to get there. JB

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Bob Marley and The Wailers

High Tide or Low Tide

Island 

I love the vocal blend of Bob Marley, Pete Tosh and Bunny Wailer. It’s just so natural sounding, not overworked. They always seem to get that balance between righteous anger and heart-breaking sensitivity spot on and here is a good example: a hymn to love and friendship yet the sound of his mother praying for protection points to the danger and injustice in all Marley’s songs. NC

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Ronnie Lane

Anniversary

Island

I’ve struggled to think of anything I don’t like about Ronnie Lane and I really can’t do it. He’s a force of nature. There’s just a soul in his music that fills you with joy and optimism. Anniversary makes you want to dance, laugh, cry or, perhaps, tell an old mate you love them. A gem. NC

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Basil Kirchin

Negatives

Trunk Records

Such simple instrumentation (harpsichord and recorder), but what an intense emotional effect. Both melancholic and nostalgic, but it resolves beautifully. Themes we have definitely aspired to bring to our record. AM

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