Photo: Madeline Allard

On Deck: Affectionately

Affectionately is the project of Californian dream-pop songwriter Zachary Elsasser, who has previously been a part of Jay Som’s touring band. Tomorrow he’s releasing his debut solo album i spend most of my time in my room, a deliciously warm and bubbly collection of heart-on-sleeve songs that invite you in close with their loveliness.

As we’re such big fans of Affectionately, we wanted to get to know about his tastes and the records that have influenced his music, so we invited him to tell us about it in the latest On Deck. Scroll down to see Zach’s picks, but ahead of that, make sure you listen to Affectionately’s delightful “prettiest part of me”.

The Strokes – Is This It

[Rough Trade/RCA; 2001]

Anytime anyone has asked me, “what’s your favorite song?” I always go to “The Modern Age” off this album. I have so many memories tied up into this record. Whether it’s driving from Lake Tahoe with my brothers in my brother’s old Passat or watching Fuse or MTV (can’t remember) and seeing “Last Night” for the first time, I can’t remember a single bad memory associated with this album. Honestly, the production and the sound of this album is so iconic for me that it’s just inspired me for my entire career as a musician. This is the album that I learned how to play drums and sing at the same time. For me, it’s just a perfect album, and it’s something I will reference and go back to for as long as I live.

Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People

[Arts & Crafts; 2002]

I think I slept on Broken Social Scene for so long until I listened to Feist. “Stars and Sons” is honestly one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Everything to me seems so meaningful in this album; I spent a lot of time driving and just idly listening to it. There is so much personality embedded into this record that it’s really inspired me to dig deep and find those feelings that matter. “Anthems of a Seventeen Year-Old Girl” and “Lover’s Spit” are songs that I wish I could write and someday I hope I can get there, but maybe I need a supergroup. I just love super groups and anything that Feist has done.

Earth, Wind & Fire – All ‘n All

[Columbia; 1977]

I’ll just say it now; Earth, Wind & Fire is the best band on the planet. I bought this vinyl in high school after I bought The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire on iTunes. I think I’ve played drums to this particular album more than anything else. Feel, soul, positivity, and honestly everything is imbued in it. I mean, I wish I wrote “September”, but I really wish I wrote this album. I’m getting excited reflecting on how wonderfulit is; “Runnin” and “Love’s Holiday” are just gems. I played “Fantasy” in my high school jazz band. Every song is good, so I have the highest praise for this record. I can only hope that I can one day produce something so pure.

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

[Island/Vagrant; 2014]

When I was in high school, I stumbled upon Bombay Bicycle Club on and I never forgot them. Then one day this album just appeared on my Soundcloud in 2014 and I was like, “whoa.” It’s weird because this is the only album I can perfectly visualize in my mind. I play a lot of tabletop role-playing games, and I can imagine an entire narrative set to this album. The way it progresses has such a perfect musical contour; it starts high, gets low, and just opens up again for a grand finale. It’s so energizing, and that is so very awesome.

The Spirit of the Beehive – The Spirit of the Beehive

[Ice Age Records; 2014]

Alright, in terms of just sheer, raw creative energy, The Spirit of the Beehive have it all. I only found this album after my friend, Dylan Allard, was obsessively listening to it. The first time I heard “You Want More”, I thought, “I can’t believe someone wrote this.” I literally couldn’t believe it. I will never stop following this band; they have an incredible musical appeal to me that will always stay with me. There’s honestly not much I can say. This album is incredible, as is every other one they’ve written, and it will always inspire creativity in me. Well, actually, this one has “Fever Dream”. I’ve listened to that song more than I can count, and I can count to like 100, probably more.

Affectionately’s debut album i spend so much time in my room is released this Friday, June 5, via Fear of Missing Out Records.

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