Home for the Curious Musician

How Did Your Parents Influence Your Taste in Music?

themes and variation

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… 

What kind of music did your parents listen to when you were growing up? Or rather, what music did they force feed you while you were strapped into your seatbelt in the back of your station wagon? Are we talking yacht rock classics, show tunes, light and easy singer-songwriter jams? In all honesty, they probably listened to… the most popular band of all time.

In the latest episode of our podcast, “Themes and Variation,” our panel dusts off some heirloom LPs and takes a deep dive into their parent’s record collections to uncover some gems that have impacted their own musical tastes. And today, I’m joined by producer, songwriter, keyboardist and good buddy, Hughie Stone Fish. Hughie is an incredible talent that you may know from his own music and his work as 1/3 of the comedy supergroup Lewberger!

Of course, I’m also joined by my wonderful co-producer Mahea Lee. We even bust out a rare Jacuzzi Louie cut from deep in the archives.

We have a great time. How can you not?

You can listen to “Themes and Variation” Episode 9 in its entirety right here in the player above, or click over to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere else you get your podcasts to subscribe and download. *Bonus points if you want to hit us with a five star rating on Apple!

Want to dig a bit deeper? Check out the companion course on Soundfly.

episode grid

If you’re enjoying this episode, and you’d like to learn more about some of the musical topics we touched on, go ahead and visit Soundfly’s free companion course for songwriting prompts and additional resources. From scale modes to melody-writing and even audio production tips and tricks, we’ve curated some extra resources for listeners who want to go the extra creative mile and put stuff from the episode into action.

Episode 9 Highlights

1. Remember “Essentials” records?

Carter: Just getting to why this song… You know both my parents listened to a ton of music, they listened to a ton of soft rock, what we would probably call “Yacht Rock” now. Do you remember the like, it would have, say it was Billy Joel or Eric Clapton, or Elton John, it would just be the artist’s name and then “Essentials” after that. It would be a black and white image. Everybody’s parents had like a dozen of those records. Pre being able to look up any song on the planet and put together a playlist, I think best-of’s and the essentials and greatest hits were definitely a mainstay in any parent’s record collection. 

2. Hughie on the meaning of “only everything is everything.”

Hughie: What’s beautiful about that phrase is it can change all the time but I think it’s beautiful to see someone like James Taylor who has gone through so much. You know he speaks about his depression and drug use and overcoming those things and also has achieved such heights of success and fame and things that many of us can only dream of and there’s always more that we could want. And only “everything” is everything, so if we’re always looking for everything we may never actually get it. 

3.  Sometimes, it helps to flip the perspective in your songwriting.

Mahea: One thing I sometimes recommend to students, you know if you find yourself writing the same situation over and over in different songs. Write about it from the other person’s perspective and make yourself the villain. Even if you don’t like the song, it’s good therapy. 

Collaborative Playlist

Just like we do every time we launch an episode, we’ve created a collaborative Spotify playlist in order to share every song talked about and mentioned in this episode, and explore many others that fit the topic. We need your help, and we can’t wait to hear what you’re into!

Feel free to add your favorite songs from your parents record collection. 

Note: Please don’t just add your own songs that don’t match the theme. While we love hearing your music, this is not a playlist for self-promotions, and we will remove them. 

We’ll see you in two weeks with a new theme, new guests, and some new songs to break down. If you have any comments, questions, or theme suggestions, drops us a line at [email protected]!

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Carter Lee

Carter Lee is a bassist/educator/producer. He is originally from Edmonton, Canada and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to leading the hip-hop group, Tiger Speak, Lee is the music director for the bands of both Shea Rose and Moruf. He is also a sideman for countless other artists. Carter brings his wealth of experience in many different musical situations to the Soundfly team and is eager to help any musician who is hoping to better their band. Check out his course Building a Better Band on Soundfly today!