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5 Songs That Inspired Laddermen

Lucerne trio Laddermen have released their new EP, «And Now You’re Bored.» We asked the band to share five songs that have inspired their creative work.

Laddermen, based in Lucerne, Switzerland, revolving around the Texan singer and guitarist Leopold Oakes, have released their new EP, And Now You’re Bored. The collection of five songs is a testament to handcrafted sophistication, decorated with longing and melancholia.

There is Programmed for Pleasure, a hauntingly atmospheric composition driven by a playful guitar, significant for classic indie rock, contrasted by Oakes’ monotonous delivery that adds to the darker ambience.

Big City then provides a sombre and meandering composition full of melancholia. It’s a haunting fusion of light-weight indie-rock and the song’s underlying sophistication, which demands a few listens to unveil its beauty.

And there is also Texas Winter, delving into a sad indie-folk full of heartfelt yearning.

And Now You’re Bored, the follow-up to their 2021 debut album Special Kind of Violence, shows the band’s development from a rougher sound to intricate compositions. These songs, despite their melodic foundations, are not sonic fast food; they need time and space to grow until they finally bloom to their fullest. But once they do, And Now You’re Bored becomes a small, shimmering art-rock gem.

To better understand how these songs were conceived, we asked Laddermen to share five songs that inspired their creative work and their urge to become musicians. Songwriters Leopold Oakes and Michael Widmer agreed to open their catalogue of influences:

Interpol – Stella Was a Diver and She’s Always Down

«I could go into great length about why this song means so much to me, from the interweaving crunchy guitars to Paul Bank’s crumbling voice, but the bottom line: I heard this song when I was 15, and I had never heard anything like this before, nor have I ever since. The nostalgic ties of me in puberty with young angst figuring out the world, all while Interpol being my theme tune, affected me deeply and is one of the reasons I wanted to make music.»


Phoebe Bridgers – Scott Street

«Phoebe Bridgers’ first album, Stranger in the Alps, was a big musical revelation for me when it came out back in 2017. It made me fall in love with indie folk music and led me to discover artists like Elliott Smith, Laura Marling and Feist.

I especially love her song Scott Street from that first album. Like Phoebe, I’m a sucker for a 5-minute-long, non-linear song with a big build-up and giant outro - which is what Scott Street executes masterfully. It’s inspiring how she’s able to write fragile songs but still have these big, driving moments that suck you in completely.»


La Dispute – King Park

«La Dispute has always had a special place within me due to the poetic nature of the lyrics and the absolute rawness of the vocal delivery. That, in tandem with the melodic distorted guitars and driving bass, gives a sense of hardcore mixed with emo rock that is undefeated. I respect the way they deliver a story and the unfiltered nature of their tone.»


Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

«Nick Cave might as well be my favourite songwriter of all time. In 2016, he released the album Skeleton Tree, in which he processed the tragic death of his son. The title track and last song on the album are maybe my favorite of the bunch. In it, he accepts that sorrow will remain with him for the rest of his life and, in that way, also steps out into the world again after experiencing tragedy.

It boggles me how he was able to continue writing such beautiful music in a state of emergency. Not only that but it’s inspiring to see what writing songs and making music still means and does to him after already having such a prolific career.»


J Dilla – Last Donut Of The Night

«Despite not directly influencing our own music sonically, J Dilla’s album Donuts had a profound impact on me. It shows how far creativity can take you and that you don’t necessarily need a ton of equipment to make great music.

Dilla produced Last Donut Of The Night on his deathbed in the hospital with just an MPC 3000 and a couple of 7” records that he sampled. It’s inspiring to see what music meant to him until the very end and how he changed the path of Hip Hop.»


Laddermen – And Now You're Bored

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