Sound Samples: Marnie Stern

February 20, 2013


Sound Samples is a SOTO feature meant to provide some insight on what inspired and/or influenced an artist’s latest release. Today’s entry comes from New York’s Marnie Stern. On March 19 she’ll be releasing a new full length titled The Chronicles Of Marnia, and around that she’ll be spending a couple of months on the road.  If you’re in Austin, be sure to catch her either at SXSW or at Holy Mountain on May 3.  She puts on an electrifying show that shouldn’t be missed.

On another Marnie-related note, in the past we’ve done these and artists have submitted a fairly sizable mix of songs.  Marnie, however, sent four with the following note:

I tend to listen to a lot of the same things, as they never get old to me. Different parts speak out at different times, and most of it has been around for a while. This is the stuff I was listening to when I wrote The Chronicles Of Marnia.

How can you not love that?  So, here’s four songs (with some words from Marnie) that influenced her latest album, which by the way is an absolute blast.


The chorus is what I come back to a lot. It’s emotive and so impactful, and it’s just three words that repeat. I’m drawn to how and why certain simplicities are so effective, and why others aren’t … and I’m trying to learn from them. The intro to this song, of course, is also amazing, as is the singing, and the overall structural build.


I listened to a ton of David Bowie while writing this record. His voice and is cadence are so fascinating. I read somewhere that he records one word at a time, but I’m not sure if that’s true. There’s a freeness and casualness to this song that I’m attracted to.


I listened to this a lot for the vocal style and flair. He really has a delivery that’s all his own, and it’s a very fun song. Lyrically, I think it’s one of the best ever because it’s tongue and cheek, but still kind of tough.


This is one of my favorite bands, so I go back to them often. This song is so slippery, and that’s part of why I like it. There a ton of influences in there, but the song still sounds 100% Royal Trux. It’s also got a sadness to it that I was interested in.


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