The vocalist of ambient rock band Anathema, Lee Douglas, reveals the records that changed her life and shaped her singing style, including Tori Amos and The Carpenters. 

The Very Best of The Carpenters

by The Carpenters 

No one introduced me to The Carpenters, I found this record myself in a second-hand vinyl/CD shop in Breck Rd, Liverpool near where I lived and bought it for £1. I can't remember how many times I sang to this record in my bedroom. Karen Carpenter had such an unbelievable vocal range, such a smooth and lovely tone in her voice.

She certainly had a big impact on how I sing now, she was a fantastic singer and drummer too. One of the greatest in my opinion.

 

Under the Pink / Little Earthquakes 

by Tori Amos

I absolutely love these records and it was really hard for me to separate the two, as they are her best. Songs such as "Silent All These Years" and "Winter" were such great tunes.

She's another major influence on how I learned to project and sing and learned how to breathe. She taught me a lot.

Her music and lyrics are an emotional force, her piano playing just magic. I was lucky enough to see her live twice, such a captivating performance to watch and one I'll never forget.

Read more: Tori Amos: Records that changed my life 

 

Ghost of a Dog 

by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians 

A very good friend introduced me to her music in the early 1990s and to this day she remains one of my greatest influences in music.

I was about to encounter my first love, listening to this album for the first time, ready to enjoy life, go out to rock clubs, drink and have fun.

I first listened to Edie Brickell sitting in the dark in my friend’s house. What immediately got me was her honesty, her pain, her Southern twang and the groove in her voice. It really got me emotionally—the music, everything. It was the first time an album made me cry. I just loved it, it felt more than just an album.

She's probably the only singer who connects with me deep down, it's raw emotion.

The only one regret is that I've never had the chance to witness her live. One day maybe... 

 

About our new album The Optimist...

The album is kind of a follow up to one of our earlier records A Fine Day to Exit.

It's about the guy who disappeared from the front cover of A Fine Day to Exit. We never got to know what happened to him after his disappearance, it was never explained in that album. Fast forward to our new album The Optimist which brings some closure to his story. It's up to the listener to decide how that chapter ends, it's open to all sorts of interpretation, as any good mystery should be.

 

Anathema's The Optimist is out now on Kscope

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