Photo: Basil Vargas

On Deck: Lionel Boy discusses five influential albums

Tomorrow sees the release of Lionel Boy, the debut album from future pop songwriter and producer Lionel Boy. The artist was born and raised in Hawaii but now resides in Long Beach, California, and his music has the hallmarks of both these tropical locales. In spirit and pace he evokes the laid-back attitude we expect of people from The Aloha State, but he fuses this with stylish and forward-thinking tones of his current home in California. Connecting these two elements is his own inimitable personality, which is by turns placid, thoughtful and vulnerable.

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Boy’s choices of influences for this On Deck is as varied as the sounds on Lionel Boy suggest. Traversing the his youthful discoveries to albums that are still in hard rotation now, he’s picked a handful of great albums to investigate. Ahead of that, enjoy his album highlight “Flower Girl”.

Blazo – Colors of Jazz

[Self-released; 2011]

To be honest, I don’t know much about Blazo but after hundreds of spins, this is still a go-to of mine. Whether I’m driving, skating or chilling around the house, this record never fails. Colors of Jazz 2 is up there as well, but I really dig the mix of that first project. 

Jack Johnson – Brushfire Fairytales

[Enjoy; 2001]

When I was in elementary school, I remember my sister and her high school friends talking about “Bubble Toes” all the time. That was when I first heard about Jack Johnson. I wasn’t even aware that he was a local musician for a while. It took a couple of years for me to really listen to his lyrics; I was like, “does this guy live over here?” haha. I learned this record inside and out and that process taught me a lot about the songwriting I know today. “Inaudible Melodies” was that first guitar riff I really nerded out on. 

Miniature Tigers – Fortress

[Modern Art; 2010]

I love the mix of synths and live instruments on this record.  The effects, the songwriting—all of it. I haven’t listened to this record in years but I definitely pulled a lot of my influence from this sound. “Goldskull” and “Coyote Enchantment” were some favs.

Sister Nancy – One, Two

[Techniques; 1982]

I wish I could’ve seen a young Sister Nancy run a stage—such great energy from each song. Her presence on the mic is incredible… it’s a no-brainer.

“Ain’t No Stopping Nancy” was a literal statement. 

Timber Timbre – Timber Timbre

[Arts & Crafts; 2009]

Won’t forget the first time I heard this. It was the sonic aesthetic that tripped me out, or at least how I was perceiving it on my end. So dark and swampy sounding. Straight black magic. Still one of my favorite bands and always a great listen.

Lionel Boy’s self-titled debut album is out tomorrow, May 14, on Innovative Leisure (pre-order/save). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.