Get to know the ladies of Brooklyn’s Sharkmuffin, Natalie Kirch and Tarra Thiessen, in the best way we know how—through their record collections.
The Rolling Stones – Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! | “My parents are huge Stones fans and they played this live album constantly in the car when I was growing up. It was one of my first influences in a couple of ways. It was the first series of recordings to make me curious about, or even grasp the concept of, seeing a band play live. As a four-year-old, “Jumping Jack Flash” was my favorite song. I was in love with the outro in particular; that was the first time I became enamored by a non-lyrical element of a song.”
Nirvana – Incesticide | “Yes, I am a giant Cobain fan. No, I’m not ashamed to say it. As I would assume most grunge fans are, I am attracted to really stripped down, raw sounds. Cobain’s vocals have a jagged fragility about them that I find very appealing. Besides, there is something super sexy about power chords.
This specific album also has an unfinished, sloppy charm to it. It’s too bizarre not to like, too simple not to relate too, and too short to lose your attention.”
The Crystals – He’s a Rebel | “This is one of the sweetest and perverted albums of all time. These three ladies have the sugar and spice act down pat. Their voices are all forceful but have a really nurturing, ethereal quality to them. “He Hit Me” is especially brilliant and disturbing. There’s nothing more inspiring than female vocalists who can assert themselves and still maintain a distinct femininity while doing it.”
The Replacements – Tim | “Honestly, I like every Replacements song I have ever heard. So really, I could choose any number of their albums. They’re rough, they’re gentle. They’re hard to pinpoint or categorize, but also super poppy and catchy. Most of their songs make me want to creep out and dance around and weep simultaneously. The Replacements are also excellent driving material. If I could listen to one band for an entire ten-hour stretch, it would probably be them.”
—Natalie Kirch, bass/vocals
The White Stripes – White Blood Cells | “The White Stripes are the reason why I picked up a guitar. The first time I ever heard them was during the 2002 VMAs, when they won a few awards for the “Fell in Love with a Girl” video. That was really it for me, mainly because it seemed so simple and easy—all you need is a guitar and drums and there you have the coolest shit ever. They were super pale, dark-haired, and awkward just like me, so my tween self found this identity in them that has stayed with me until today. I also had a major 12-year-old girl crush on Jack White.”
Pink Floyd – Piper at The Gates of Dawn | “When I was 14 I lived in a small town close to the beach in NJ and I had a boyfriend who I would ride my bike all over town with. He was a huge metalhead and we both played guitar so we were really competitive and would challenge each other to learn Slayer and Black Sabbath solos. That got lame fast so when we started getting fed up with each other over it, we decided to make mixtapes for each other instead.
One of them had the song “Bike” by Pink Floyd on it. I became so obsessed with Pink Floyd’s Piper at The Gates of Dawn after I heard that track. The bizarre quirkiness in their lyrical hooks and the building psyched-out jams really influenced my taste in the garage rock that I’ve listened to since then. Like, I don’t think I’d be so obsessed with Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees now if it wasn’t for that record. Later I got into Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, but Sid Barret’s Pink Floyd is definitely the best.”
The Velvet Underground & Nico – (s/t) | “The Velvet Underground & Nico record was one of the reasons why I wanted to move to New York City so badly as a teenager. The Velvet Underground’s New York was the New York I wanted to live in. Then when I moved here, for 3 years I listened to the B-side of that record religiously ever morning while eating breakfast.
“Heroin” is my all-time favorite song. You can zone out on a different drone in it every time and notice things you may have never heard before. Also the “self-hating New Yorker who couldn’t live anywhere else” for me isn’t more perfectly described than in the lyrics “I wish that I’d sailed the darkened seas/On a great big clipper ship/Going from this land here to that/In a sailor’s suit and cap/Away from the big city/Where a man can not be free/Of all the evils of this town/And of himself and those around/Oh and I guess I just don’t know/Oh and I guess I just don’t know…'”
—Tarra Thiessen, lead singer/guitar
Sharkmuffin’s debut 7″ “The Lake” b/w “Big,” and the “She-Gods of Champagne Valley” EP are both available now.