East India Youth - aka William Doyle - is gearing up to release his high-anticipated debut album Total Strife Forever on Monday (13 January) - grab our latest issue, Q331 out now, for a review plus see him live on the day at London's Rough Trade East. With the record boasting a horizon-busting, sensory journey of electronic moods, acoustic tenderness and heartfelt emotions, for his Q Playlist, Doyle has opted to take a different path... songs that barely register at three minutes. "Partly because of my own habit of making things quite long, or the feeling that I cannot get across my musical ideas without establishing them in a section of lengthy development, I've always been fascinated by the ability of some artists to encapsulate quite large concepts or create truly immersive sonic worlds in three minutes or less," he explains of his theme. "Here's just a small selection of things I found in my library that I think achieve this."
Death Grips - Get Got "Death Grips demand your absolute attention. The mastering pushes the dynamics of the track to its absolute limit. As soon as 'Get Got' (the first track from their album The Money Store) kicks into action you are completely inducted into their universe, and like a number of their other tracks, you are spat right out again in less than three minutes, disorientated and perhaps a little frightened.
Laurel Halo - Years "While Laurel Halo's Quarantine is an immersive journey overall, it is made up of a few very strange and irregularly structured vignettes of less than three minutes. Years is a great pop song, albeit one of the most skewed ones I can ever remember hearing. It's an uncomfortable listen with the vocals mixed so that they are totally in your face and I find it completely captivating."
Scott Walker - On Your Own Again "Less than three minutes is one thing, but less than two is a somewhat more impressive feat in the case of Scott Walker, a man whose output in the late 60s often included these type of incredibly short pieces. For my money, On Your Own Again is the most gorgeous of these. Interesting to note that in Scott's progression, he can now barely keep it to under ten minutes.
Roxy Music - Virginia Plain "One of the greatest pop songs of all time, featuring one of the most avant garde vocal styles we've ever heard in pop music, especially if you consider it in the context of the mainstream musical landscape at the time it was released. This was probably a lot of people's first encounter with the band but the density of its musical ideas and the juxtaposition of different styles within is delivered with such confidence that it must have been hard to not fall for it instantly. This is what three minute pop music should be like."
John Maus - Rights For Gays "The message of this song is not delivered in a convoluted or heavy handed way. Rights For Gays. Oh yeah. And medical care for everyone. Are these subjects that really need debating? The brevity of John Maus' finest track would suggest not. Straight and to the point."
Beck - Dead Melodies "I'd kind of forgotten about this album until I was flicking through my library but I think Dead Melodies is one of the finest tracks on it. Before anyone knew Beck was capable of such heartfelt beauty, this album came along to really enforce how much of a shapeshifter he was in his prime. I often play this song when I'm sat at home noodling on my guitar. A real favourite of mine."
Suicide - Ghost Rider "There's opening tracks from records and then there's this. Had anyone heard music made in this way before? The sense of mounting tension that is ultimately not resolved is prevalent in mostly every track on this album. Ghost Rider sets the scene for one of the most influential releases ever, exhibiting Alan Vega and Martin Rev's inimitable style in less than three minutes."
of Montreal - Flunkt Sass Vs The Root Plume "The lyrics and title of this song are completely ridiculous but also incredibly typical of the style that Kevin Barnes was establishing between Satantic Panic to Paralytic Stalks. Barnes' trademark sense of anguish and inescapable dread are all present here in one of the more organic sounding tracks the band has put its name to. For a man who has been known to deal with the chopping and changing of styles and ideas multiple times in the space of one track, this is a remarkably resolved and realised idea executed in two minutes and 38 seconds."
Sufjan Stevens - All For Myself "I should probably stop harping on about The Age Of Adz in every interview three years after its initial release but it's worth noting how much of an impact it has had on me. I'd written Sufjan off a bit after the sequel to 'Illinoise took a long time to materialise. I'd completely prepared myself for slightly over-sentimental folk songs albeit with brilliant arrangements embellishing them. I really did not expect this absolute behemoth of emotional intensity where the orchestral and the electronic wrestle each other until a 25 minute resolution on Impossible Soul. An artistic triumph. All For Myself is the antithesis to its 25 minute cousin in terms of length, but it does a great job of showcasing the many different textures displayed on this album."
Robyn Hitchcock - I Often Dream Of Trains "I find this song incredibly emotional and very evocative, perhaps because of my relation to the train route it speaks of. Its dreamlike, almost hallucinogenic quality is so brilliantly executed. The whole album has a very similar atmosphere and emotional quality to it. One of my all time favourite songs from one of my all time favourite songwriters."
For more, including UK tour dates, head to Facebook.com/eastindiayouth.