She's only 21 years old, but acoustic folk-pop sensation Gabrielle Aplin is clearly an expert on the music of he '60s and '70s. When asked to compile her picks for "the records that changed her life," she leaned heavily on discs that predated her birth, some by almost three decades.
“I do like a lot of older albums, but it’s not as if I had to go back and study them," Aplin says. "My parents were listening to these records, so I discovered them very naturally; in fact, I didn’t even know they were older albums or ‘classics’ until much later. To me, they were new at the time. I didn't have any preconceptions about what I was hearing."
Aplin describes her listening habits as "across the board, really; I don't stay within any one genre. For me, it all comes down to a great song with a great voice. But it doesn’t actually have to be a perfect voice: As long as the singer can convey what the song is about and the emotions behind it, that’s all that matters. I do like artists who are confident enough to be themselves, though. I like original ideas, original sounds.”
An increasingly packed tour schedule requires Aplin to carry her favorite music with her on an iPhone, but on those rare occasions when she's at home, she loves to sit down and lose herself in her vinyl collection. "Vinyl has become trendy," she notes, "but I see a real upside to it: Young people are discovering or rediscovering the joys of the album. They listen to one side, flip it over and listen to the second side. There's nothing trendy about that. It's sort of timeless, really."
Aplin's first full-length LP, English Rain, has been certified gold in the UK. An EP of the same name has just been released in the US - it can be purchased at iTunes. For more information and tour dates, visit Gabrielle Aplin's official website. On the following pages, Aplin runs down the 10 records that changed her life.