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The music behind the new Howling Bells album, Radio Wars

The last time I caught up with London-based, Australian band, Howling Bells, was in New York in early 2007 when they played a show at one of the many seedy Lower East Side bars. Since then, they’ve recorded a new album, the aptly named Radio Wars [listen to their song, Treasure Hunt, below], a remarkable follow-up to their 2006 self-titled debut. I checked in with guitarist Joel Stein to find out what music the four-piece had been listening to around the time the album was written: ‘The Byrds’ Eight Miles High always sounds so futuristic to me. It has one of the best guitar sounds ever and really moves me with its color and power. Every time I hear the Tortoise track, I Set My Face to the Hillside, I instantly get transported to the ocean. Beautiful! Joy Division’s Isolation is incredible. I love the intro keyboard riff, in particular (the keyboard was self-built). It expresses urgency and truth. And then there’s Neu!’s Hallogallo, a truly inspiring instrumental track that I always want to go on for longer. Its fuzzy guitars are so warm and vibrant. Perfect!’ Read frontwoman Juanita Stein’s Playlist of inspiring songs.

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