My name is Tyler Stodghill and I play guitar/do vocals in a band called Stars Hollow. We’re a band from Iowa, so we’re both geographically and genre-ly a Midwest emo band. It was difficult to decide, but here are three records that changed my life!
The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There
Home Like Noplace is a very special record in my life. I remember sitting and doing homework my sophomore year of college when someone recommended it to me. I listened to The Scope of All This Rebuilding and had to leave because I started crying. It had been a long time since music made me feel anything like that.
For the first few days I just listened to The Scope over and over. I finally gave the record an entire listen one day and I was floored. It kept my interest the entire time. It had hooks and fun parts, but it also had ridiculously real and intense moments. It covered all the bases I already liked and brought a new energy to the table.
That record, front to back, showed me what it means to be honest and raw when writing songs. I can listen to it front to back any day now and I’ll never complain. I have yet to find a record that sticks with me more in terms of emotional attachment.
Brave Bird – T-Minus Grand Gesture
I was knee deep into my emo revival obsession when I found this record. I had been listening to CSTVT, Snowing, and Algernon a ton. My Spotify discover weekly was basically littered with bands associated with those acts. Brave Bird came up one day while I was in my senior year of college. I was going to take the bus home, but after hearing I Don’t Want To Know, I decided to walk. I listened to that EP twice on the walk home and fell in love with it.
The first three songs more specifically stuck with me. They’re so well written and so cohesive. Rekindle has one of my favorite lines: “My body burned out/I wanna be rekindled.” Being a depressed undergrad student, it resonated with me a lot. I also really admired their ability to have parts that sounded big and memorable without needing to play loud. Definitely a band I’m upset I couldn’t see before they broke up. They had a huge impact on how I view fitting melodies into songs.
Nicole Dollanganger – Natural Born Losers
This record has been one of my most listened to every year since it came out. My friend Jess recommended it to me and said it sounded like something I would love. I put it off for awhile and then finally pulled it up and thought the album art was super interested. A few seconds into Poacher’s Pride and I was hooked.
There are lots of things I admire about this album. I enjoy how dark it is without being unnecessarily edgy. I enjoy the lack of percussion in most of the songs because it makes the builds really interesting. I enjoy how haunting the vocals are and how they blend with everything. It was just something I felt like I had never heard before. Growing up on a farm and coexisting with “hick” type people made it resonate even more.
Photo by Bee Schreiner.
Stars Hollow is an emo band from Iowa, USA.