By Miles Raymer
September 15, 2014 at 08:49 PM EDT
Mark Bachor

Brooklyn trio Nude Beach have a rare talent for borrowing sounds and ideas from various high points in rock history without coming off like copycats. Part of the reason is that they tend to collage bits from different styles and periods within one single song — part of it’s the quality of material that they’re drawing from, and part of it’s just a gift for writing undeniable hooks. While they’re getting ready for the release of their third LP 77 and an accompanying fall tour, the band took a break to make EW a playlist of songs that inspired the album. Covering everything from modern jangle revivalists to classic country to psychedelic folk, it’s proof that when it comes to making records, the band’s working with top-shelf ingredients.

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9/20: New Brunswick, NJ @ Boyd Park

10/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool w/ Juniper Rising

10/21-25: New York, NY @ CMJ Festival

10/26: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups

10/27: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean

10/28: Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon

11/5: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge

11/22: Toronto, ON @ Not Dead Yet Fest

The Men – “Candy”

 One of our favorite local bands. Open Your Heart from 2012 blew my mind when I first heard it – it was an amalgamation of everything they’d experimented with up to that point: krautrock, grunge, psych folk, and punk.  “Candy” is a highlight because it foreshadowed the country rock direction they ended up going in for the next couple albums, and stood out from the hardcore intensity of the rest of the LP. It’s inspiring to have friends make such accomplished, challenging, visceral records – and we were lucky enough to tour with them twice! – Ryan

 Shoes – “Fire For Awhile”

 Amazing band from Illinois – Shoes home recorded a few cult psych pop albums in the late 70s before signing to a major label. They were definitely a part of the power pop scene, but tastefully avoided the schmaltz. “Fire For Awhile,” showcases the mellow earnest pop moves they brought to the table, along with their signature brand of psychedelic, searing guitar. We recorded 77 in an apartment on Long Island in the same spirit as Black Vinyl Shoes. – Ryan

 Jessica Pratt – “Half Twain The Jesse”

 Probably one of my favorite albums released in the past decade, Jessica Pratt’s debut took her 5 years (!) to record and yielded truly timeless results. It’s a beautiful vision of simple folk song perfection; only lonesome voice and guitar on crackling analogue tape grace this record. For fans of Karen Dalton, Sibylle Baier, and Joni Mitchell. A multitude of influences contributed to the long sprawling feel of our new album, and this is definitely a go-to late night jam on the road. – Ryan

The Mice – “Little Rage”

 The Mice were an obscure Ohio band fronted by the now legendary Bill Fox. Fox garnered a cult following for his poignant version of the American song form with an unparalleled focus and punk rock intensity. They released an amazing EP, one album, and broke up. “Little Rage,” captures the energy and sincerity of the band’s heart on your sleeve style, as well as Fox’s signature, raspy howl. Nude Beach covered one of his songs when II came out and still play this record regularly in the van. – Ryan

Reigning Sound – “Starting New”

Reigning Sound are a great band that’s been putting records out for years, and have been a direct and consistent inspiration. Their new album, Shattered on Merge is by far their most accomplished, and has a real classic pop sensibility. “Starting New” is such a heartbreakingly beautiful tune. In more ways than one they are a band we admire. – Ryan

 Teenage Fanclub – “Don’t Look Back”

 Incredibly consistent band who’s longevity and tasteful distillation of American musical references makes them a real touchstone for me.  They have three great songwriters, but I’ve always been drawn to Gerard Love’s songs in particular. This cut from Grand Prix has one of their best lovelorn lines — “I’d steal a car, to drive you home.”  – Jim

Otis Clay – “Trying to Live My Life Without You”

Visiting the Stax Records museum in Memphis on tour was a rare, truly inspiring experience.  The hyper talented group of musicians and producers working out of this small community defined a whole unique genre of southern soul music, and something about the tight-knit, resourceful, almost DIY aesthetic of Memphis labels like Stax and Hi really spoke to us.  Classic 1972 title track here from the under appreciated Hi Records artist Otis Clay, with Willie Mitchell’s unmistakable production prominently featured. – Jim

 Future Virgins – “60’s Sweater”

 Future Virgins from Chattanooga, TN have been doing their thing for nearly a decade and continue to impress with each new record.  They’re a punk band, but they’re not afraid to explore different styles, delving into classic Americana, rock, power pop and even doing a great Magnetic Fields cover.  “60’s Sweater” from their most recent record Late Republic is as beautiful and sweet of a pop song as they come. – Jim

 Gene Clark – “One In A Hundred”

 Any number of songs could go here with his myriad songwriting explorations into psychedelic rock, baroque pop, and country music that have certainly influenced our ideas as a band, but “One In A Hundred” from White Light stands out with it’s dark lyrics, stripped down arrangement, and Phil Spector-influenced tambourine banging away.  Another classic from the late, great Gene Clark. – Jim

Fairport Convention – “Time Will Show The Wiser”

 Fairport Convention, an early Richard Thompson outfit, were a British folk rock band largely influenced by west coast American rock bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Byrds. While their later albums delve heavily into more traditional English folk music, their first couple of albums hold gems like this version of a song written by Emmit Rhodes for his LA pop group the Merry Go Round. This song clearly exhibits their debts to the scenes in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the influence of LSD and DIY values gave way to a flourishing network of garage rock and early punk music. – Chuck

William Bell – “Never Like This Before”

 It is truly hard to explain the feeling that overwhelms you while standing amidst the rebuilt Stax studio. The Stax players were hugely prolific and influential in such a short amount of time before its unfortunate demise. I’ve been to the museum every time I’ve passed through Memphis now; on my last visit I had the pleasure of meeting Wayne Jackson whose old trumpet is displayed in a glass case and whom, along with the rest of the Memphis Horns, played on an uncountable amount of great records. I can’t say if he’s featured on this track, however William Bell is responsible for some of my favorite Stax records, and this one captures that strangely haunting energy that exists within the Stax walls. – Chuck

 Jerry Jeff Walker – “Hill Country Rain”

 Jerry Jeff Walker is a Texas country musician known mostly for his song “Mr. Bojangles” as well as his work with the group Circus Maximus. I myself only knew those records when I picked up a copy of his 1972 self titled album at a record shop in Austin, TX. In the centerfold he explains the  importance of his drifter lifestyle and sharing the experience of music with his friends along the way. He says, “I have just searched for where it was at until I finally decided that the search was where it was at.” This live track opens the album – it’s loose and howling choruses seem to define his musical approach which shaped his extensive catalog of records, and his far reaching influence on any singer/songwriter. – Chuck