Jesse B. Marchant, also known as JBM, is a gifted singer/songwriter from Montreal. A classically trained guitarist, he only recently began to write lyrics, sing and record. His debut album, Not Even in July, was written in Los Angeles but recorded in New York's Adirondacks, and it proves that he's easily capable of sitting with other indie favorites like Bon Iver and AA Bondy.
Twin Peaks -- David Lynch: The images and sounds in this TV series hugely developed my appreciation for the eerie and the abstract, and for the balance between blatant beauty, sadness, hope and darkness in creative expression.
The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks: More than any other that I've read, this book has made me aware of the subjectivity of reality, especially of that in different people's minds.
The Great Shark Hunt -- Hunter S. Thompson: For similar reasons as above.
The Transfiguration of Vincent -- M. Ward: The atmospheric landscape that M.Ward created on this mostly acoustic record really astonished me, and all the songs are so rich and beautiful. His guitar playing on the instrumental tracks inspired me a lot too.
The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway: All the ideas and feelings expressed by the narrator in this novel are ones that I connect with very strongly. I also very much like the imagery and the description of his observations in his moments of solitude. They are beautiful and romantic and alive and compassionate, but there is an underlying feeling of loneliness and suffering. Love is felt and is near and real, but the sharing of it is always impossible.
In Rainbows -- Radiohead: This is, to me, an almost perfect album. Minimal but specific and powerful arrangements, tons of different, gorgeous sounds, a lot of emotion but also some restraint. An elegant piece of work.
T. Loper is a writer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.