*Main Image Provided by: @brownmetal (Michael-Rex Carbonell)

Rocky Nelson is the lead singer of Houston, TX progressive rock band Crimson Arrow who we’ve worked with before. In addition to singing in Crimson Arrow, Rocky has a solo project (called Rocky Nelson). His project’s debut album, Two Hearts, is set to be released on 2/14/17! Rocky was kind enough to give us a list of his top 10 favorite albums (and then some) to give us an insight into what music has shaped him the most.

Smooth by Santana ft. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, the 1999 Grammy Award winning multi-cultural/multi-generational crossover and Billboard topping smash hit collaboration.
“Anyone who truly knows me, knows that Smooth is the best song in the entire world and had to top this list. It’s not an album, but I can’t make a “best of” list and exclude it. That would be sacrilege, end of story. Next. ”

Panic! at the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
“Found this album in junior high cause a girl in my class kept singing “There’s a Reason These Tables are Numbered…” and the lyrics captivated me before I’d heard the band. It ended up being one of those albums where every song got stuck in my head for weeks at a time. Brendon Urie heavily influenced my lyricism and vocal patterns on my first two albums, as well as my solo record.”

Fall Out Boy – From Under the Cork Tree
“Another classic from the junior high days. My first girlfriend was super into Green Day and Fall Out Boy. I think I made the better choice about which of her favorite bands to obsess over. Pete Wentz is an amazing song writer and Patrick Stump challenged me to sing with emotion and tenacity. P Stump’s lyrics and flow also heavily influenced my voice Crimson Arrow’s first record. ”

Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane
“This album was the only thing in my parents car for nearly 2 years after it came out, so the whole family knows it extremely well. It is still one of the best sounding records to date, and it came out 13 years ago. Adam Levine’s gospel style pushed my range, plus my jazzy and romantic side of writing.
*side note- Everyone has to check out the 10 year demo version album on Spotify, it’s insane how much the songs changed but how similar a lot of them are. Straight funk and Latin to some Eastern sounding vibes. Their producer is a magician. ”

Brand New – The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me
“One of two albums on the list where the singing didn’t heavily influence my vocal style. The first time through, I cried so hard that I had to stop several of the songs to just let it out. Definitely sent me very deep and dark into the emo scene.”

Dance Gavin Dance – Dance Gavin Dance / Self Titled / Deathstar
“First DGD record I ever heard. Blew my mind that a singer and screamer could mesh so well on top of noodley jazzy post-hardcore.
I’ve got “Reciprocate the Feeling” tattooed on my back which is a rip from the end of Buffalo… I love Mess’s raw emotion and the ritard as the track closes out. Plus Kurt Travis’s crooning took my musical preferences and performance in a whole new direction. He is featured on Antiquate and I’m honored and humbled to share that song with him on record and on stage. ”

Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue 
“First album I ever owned, and the first songs I learned for guitar were View From Heaven and Breathing. I’ve been madly in love ever since with every YC record (except the very first EP which doesn’t exist to me, and the album after LP3 left which was a total disappointment). I’m not a huge pop punk guy, but the tasteful use of violin hooked me from the start.”

Circa Survive – Juturna
“I have to be honest here… first time I heard AG’s voice I HATED Circa. I was listening to a bunch of post-hardcore/metalcore at the time so I couldn’t stand him. Then a year or two later when I started singing I went back and it all blew my mind… AG has been a massive influence ever since. Started off with BSN right when it dropped (I found HRVRD thru the torrent, honorable mention) and worked my way backwards. Juturna is a super creepy ambient concept album I just clicked so hard with and now Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind is one of my favorite films, and House of Leaves is my favorite book. ”

This Town Needs Guns (TTNG) – Animals
“Lots of good memories with this record. The best musicians I know all have heard this and most are obsessed with it. Something about the simplicity of the lyrical meaning and tone mixed with technicality hooked me… I had to try those vibes on my solo album. ”

Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
“Super personal record for me. I knew about DCFC beforehand, but my mother’s co-worker ripped her a copy of this cd (Crooked Teeth was cut in half) and we would listen to it together. I eventually got my own copy and became obsessed. It was the background to a lot of deep, late night conversations with some friends that aren’t around anymore. Hard not to cry while finishing the album front to back. I attempt to emulate Ben Gibbard’s lyrics and songwriting often in my solo work and with Crimson Arrow. ”

Minus the Bear – Menos El Oso
“My guitarist Jon dragged me to see MtB and Cursive in Houston when he had a spare ticket. I went to meet cute girls, and left with my mind obliterated. The intricate use of pedals to create a fusion of pseudo-electronic mathy sound under sexy adult alt lyrics and coastal vibes still gets me every time I jam the record. Even though it didn’t influence my vocals a whole lot, it’s definitely one of my go-to feel-good albums. ”

– Honorable Mentions –

HRVRD- Inevitable and I
Lydia- Illuminate
My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
La Dispute- Wildlife
The Weeknd – Trilogy
Frank Ocean- Channel Orange
Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book
Eidola- Degeneraterra
Plini- Handmade Cities/Sweet Nothings
Postal Service- Give Up
Owel- OWEL S/T

Be sure to check out his band Crimson Arrow’s latest release Living In Still Frames if you haven’t heard it yet and follow his band and solo project’s respective social media accounts (which you’re going to want to do because his solo project is a m a z i n g )!

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Rocky Nelson