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Take 5 With Zachary Leo

Naarm/Melbourne-based funk-pop artist Zachary Leo has just announced his exciting new EP, out Friday, June 14. Accompanying this announcement is his latest single off the record, ‘On My Mind‘ – produced and mixed by Tobias Priddle and mastered by Pieter De Wagter. To celebrate the EP announce and new single, today Zachary has shared with us his five favourite albums and why.

Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

This was the first album I remember connecting with as a kid. I used to listen to it in the back of my Dad’s station wagon from about the age of 4, and the older I got, the more it resonated with me musically. John Frusciante was the reason I wanted to play guitar and his playing on this record was just so raw, I felt every note. Every time I hear it now, it gives me both all those nostalgic feelings + brand new feelings and emotions. I often find myself listening to this album from start to finish, never really just single songs, other than maybe ‘Mellowship Slinky’ and ‘If You Have to Ask’. Twenty-odd years later, this still stands as my favourite album ever.

Songs in the Key Of Life – Stevie Wonder

I feel like this is in a lot of people’s Top 5’s when it comes to favourite albums, but that’s probably because it’s just so perfect. In my opinion, Stevie Wonder is the most talented musician/artist of all time and this album is a perfect way to showcase his talents. The thing that resonated with me on this record was the pure power of the songs. ‘Knocks me off my Feet’ and ‘Summer Soft’ are absolute highlights for me, with Stevie’s infectious melodies, taking me to another world. This is an absolute must-listen album for anyone.

Abbey Road – The Beatles

The Beatles are my favourite band ever, so naturally, there is going to be a Beatles record on this list; for me, that album has to be ‘Abbey Road’. The production on this record is absolutely immaculate, even by today’s standards, and the songs are GOLDEN! ‘Something’, ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ and ‘The Long One’ (yes, I’m counting that as one big song for the purpose of time) are some of my favourite Beatles works. This is one of those albums that I can put on at literally any point of the day and just listen and enjoy, no matter my mood. It’s a legitimate 10/10 album.

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“Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino

I feel like I talk about this album constantly, but it literally shaped the artist I am today, because without it, I would never have been introduced to the work of genius George Clinton. I first heard this record in my mate’s car when we were about 17-18 and he showed me the song ‘Me and Your Mama’. It instantly blew my mind. I hadn’t really been exposed to this kind of raw, dry, funk sound before, and I really took a liking to it; then I heard ‘Redbone’ and I was completely sold. This album was a gateway for me as an 18-year-old to artists like Parliament/Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, Shuggie Otis, The Meters and Gil Scott-Heron. I still love this record to death and listen to it on constant rotation, amongst these other great artists that it was heavily inspired by.

Crowded House – Crowded House

Crowded House is one of my all-time favourite bands and this album means so much to me for so many reasons. For as long as I can remember, Neil Finn has been like my songwriting Idol and I have always looked up to him as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, so as a kid/teenager and budding songwriter, this album and ‘WoodFace’ were like my textbooks on how to write the perfect song. I don’t know If I ever succeeded, but it gave me a chance to truly appreciate just how amazing the songs were.  ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, ‘Mean to Me’, ‘Something So Strong’ and ‘I Walk Away’ (which can be found on the Spotify releases of the records, but I believe was originally a Split Enz song) are some of my favourite songs ever and are absolutely Australian classics. I have had this album on heavy rotation since I was 4 or 5 years old, and it will always be one of the first I pick up on a Sunday morning sitting outside with my cup of coffee.

‘On My Mind’ is available worldwide now




Written by John Zebra