DEAFHEAVEN's George Clarke: 8 albums that inspired 'Sunbather' | Revolver

DEAFHEAVEN's George Clarke: 8 albums that inspired 'Sunbather'

From chaotic black metal to an all-time dream-pop album
Deafheaven George Clarke 2023 1600x900, Lexie Alley
Deafheaven's George Clarke
photograph by Lexie Alley

Pick up Revolver's exclusive colored vinyl variant of Deafheaven's Sunbather 10th anniversary edition — limited to 750 — over at our shop.

Deafheaven's Sunbather is one of the most polarizing albums in recent metal history, and also one of the 21st century's most important.

While it was by no means the first record to combine the dismal, void-plunging surges of black metal with the surrealist guitar mosaics of shoegaze, it remains the most visible album in the blackgaze milieu, and a landmark innovation in heavy-music's DNA.

So where the fuck did Deafheaven get the idea to make such a daringly pretty, phantasmagorically heavy album like Sunbather?

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary — which the band are commemorating with a special remixed/remastered edition, and a special vinyl pressing — we asked Deafheaven vocalist George Clarke to share eight albums that had an indelible impact on the creation of Sunbather.

From "chaotic" black metal to an "all-time" dream-pop album, see all of his selections below.

Alison's Halo - Eyedazzler

I was listening to this album a ton at the time and it's still one of my favorites. "Leech!"

Nick Cave - No More Shall We Part

The first Nick Cave record I really got into. I've always been obsessed with the last minute of "Hallelujah."

The Cure - Seventeen Seconds

We talked about covering "A Forest" around 2011 before committing to the Mogwai cover.

Leviathan - Massive Conspiracy Against All Life

Chaotic and furious with tons of great melody. Listened to this and Lurker of Chalice a lot at the time.

Mogwai - Come on Die Young

Difficult to pick one from them. Big influence on us. We released a cover of "Punk Rock/Cody" on a split with Bosse de Nage a year before we'd put Sunbather out.

Radio Dept - Pet Grief

An all-time dream-pop record. "The Worst Taste in Music" is a perfect song for a smug, insecure young person.

Thursday - Full Collapse

Their guitar dynamics and melodies have influenced us a lot. Great songwriting.

Weakling - Dead as Dreams

A Bay Area classic and a great introduction to American atmospheric black metal.