Wake Up Alone - Amy Winehouse
I was in Edinburgh on tour and going through a bit of a rough time. I jumped off the tour bus and went into a record store to get
some CDs. I heard this song and ran up to the counter and went, "Who is this singing?" I bought the album and it still remains, along with Radiohead In Rainbows, as my favourite album of all time.
This song is so sad. I always connect with Amy Winehouse when I'm feeling big feelings or big emotions. She writes like she talks, there's no airs or graces. It's incredible. I love the way she writes.
It's the melody that connected with me first. But those lyrics, "No one wants to be alone." People have an assumption that waking up alone is a bad thing. I prefer that now but back in the days of my 20s, when you're lonely, you're lonely. Now I'm 40 I go, "Thank f*** I'm alone!"
Blue - Joni Mitchell
I'd never heard of Joni Mitchell until I was about 24 and I don't understand that. Don't even ask me why. It might have been Paul McLaney who got me on to it. He and I are music weirdos who used to get together and just geek out on music.
I bought the album from the Three Lamps record store and went up to Mt Eden in my old Ford Cortina, Mark 1, 1966. I put it on and just watched the city listening to the whole album. I didn't get stoned and I didn't get drunk. It was just me in my car vibing out to her amazing voice and her amazing songwriting.
All I Need - Radiohead
I was on tour once again and bought the album in Dargaville. This is such a beautiful song. He's a real lonely buzz that dude, Thom Yorke. I love everything he writes, even his solo stuff. I love him so much and I was deeply in love with this song.
I like sad music but it uplifts me. I'm a songwriter and songwriters deal in feelings. They are intense and get sad and get emotional. We're all a bit crazy. And I'm a Gemini. I've always got two sides to me. I've got the tender and serious side but then I've got the funny and playful side where you can be extroverted. I'm the whole package.
Can I Call You - Marlon Williams
I know what the song's about because I know the people that are involved in the song. But I won't go into it now.
It's underrated this song. It is such a great song. It reminds me of Every Breath You Take by The Police. Real creepy, stalker but he's so madly in love but he just knows he's lost her and he can't deal with the grief and the panic. I know how that feels. We all know how that feels when you have a breakup and that initial feeling of going, "Oh f***, I've lost them." It's harrowing. I felt his feelings on this song, for sure.
Sandalwood - Lisa Loeb
I can't neglect my songwriting past and Lisa Loeb is the reason I became a songwriter. I was 13 when this song came out. I was already singing in choirs and plays and all that s*** but she made me pick up the guitar.
It's not change-the-world-music, but this is something that I relate to my teenage years. Me and my best friend used to sing this song busking in Cashel Mall in Christchurch. I don't even care terribly about the words, I just love the feeling and the memory of when I sing it. But it's a cool little number.
Lisa Loeb's f***ing fantastic. And she's loopy as well. I love that about her.
* As told to Karl Puschmann. Anika Moa's new show, Anika Moa Reunited, starts this Friday on TVNZ OnDemand with new episodes streaming weekly.