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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Eliza Hardy Jones of The War on Drugs

Eliza Hardy Jones (Credit: Andrew Jones)
Eliza Hardy Jones (Credit: Andrew Jones)

Name  Eliza Hardy Jones

Best known for  Playing in The War on Drugs, making quilts, and being the official chanteuse of The Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast. 

Current city  Philadelphia.

Really want to be in  I am a West Philadelphian through and through, born and raised, and can’t imagine living anywhere else. But I also love how much time I get to spend on the road touring and finding wooded trails here and there around the world.

Excited about  The release of my latest album PICKPOCKET (April 19). 

My current music collection has a lot of  ‘60s and ‘70s soul and R&B, and all manner of pretty voices singing pretty songs. 

And a little bit of  Old-time, bluegrass, and Western swing.

Preferred format Vinyl for focused listening, streaming for dancing, cleaning, and general mood enhancement. 

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:

1

To Love Somebody, Nina Simone

This is the current most-played album at home. It’s a perfect album. Nina Simone is my all-time favorite piano player and her voice captures all of the rage and joy there is to find in this world. On this album, she covers classic ‘60s tunes that I’ve always loved, but spins them around with Nina magic that just absolutely knocks my socks off. Perfect for a dance party or for laying on the ground staring at the ceiling. 

2

Blue, Joni Mitchell

My first favorite album. I still remember the first time I heard this in high school. I found a bruised-up copy on vinyl and played it on repeat. It’s so restrained and so unhinged. I tied myself to her voice and this album was a constant companion for the moodiest years of my youth. 

3

Hounds of Love, Kate Bush

There was a period of time when, mysteriously, every time I plugged my headphones into my phone “Waking the Witch” would start playing. It begins with a creepy whisper “WAKE UP”. Kate Bush is a genius — a pioneer of sound who never gave in to what people wanted from her. A true feminist hero. I’ve probably spent more time listening to this album than any other. Side A hits you with pop gold, and then Side B hits you with a song cycle about drowning in cold water and deciding whether to give in and die or stay awake and live. There’s always something new to hear, always something new to listen for. 

4

The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine

It’s pretty remarkable that John Prine’s last album is as good as his first. It’s profound and silly. Prine wears all of his years in his voice, but it is still clean and clear and full of magic. When my son was born prematurely we spent about two weeks in a NICU while he got strong enough to come home with us. My husband and I would hold our tiny little baby and sing him songs off of this record. An anchor in the storm.

5

You’re My Lover Now, The Teeth

Being young and playing music in Philadelphia in the early 2000s was a pretty incredible time. So many bands popped up from this scene, some that went on to be pretty well known (Dr. Dog, Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, mewithoutYou), and some that exist only in that time. The Teeth were one of those bands. I was at a Teeth show at The Khyber in 2003 when my husband invited me on a date for the first time, and their music was a backdrop to our early courtship. This record always brings me back to that time — packed into some sweaty bar, recording in unheated garages, singing with friends, and falling in love.