Tracy Bonham‘s latest album, Modern Burdens, features new recordings of tracks from her 1996 debut, The Burdens of Being Upright. She looked back to that era when compiling this list of her favorite Nineties songs for Rolling Stone.
Liz Phair, “Fuck and Run”
This song made me want to stop and write about real things. I realized you could have conversational lyrics and a good melody.
Guided by Voices, “I Am a Scientist”
Robert Pollard is talking about self-discovery as a grown-up. The low-fi sound inspired me to try something similar.
My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow”
I remember laying on my back with my friend, stoned, and listening to this. We could visualize the sounds coming at us on a conveyor belt. It’s superatmospheric.
Tom Waits, “A Little Rain”
I love a good, sad, rainy-day song, but this one takes the cake. The line “a little rain never hurt no one” sounds innocuous but is deeply meaningful.
The lyrics remind me of the Northwest. I think it’s about a woman there he never met. I love the way Black Francis’ voice mixes with Kim Deal’s.