The Vaccines recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of their debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, and the last decade has been a wild ride for the group. Their first furore established the band as the saviours of indie music, and while their journey hasn’t been without the occasional road bump, they are now in a place in which they feel more assured in their abilities than ever before.
After overcoming the departure of founding member Pete Robertson in 2016 and navigating a close break-up, The Vaccines discovered a newfound resilience from an unplanned spanner in the works. Together, they fiercely returned with their fourth album in the shape of 2018’s Combat Sports. Since then, there’s been a new-filled sense of liberation that has oozed out of every release, and since that flight or fight moment, The Vaccines have continued to come out swinging with new music from their fifth album imminent.
Continuing with our Mental Health Awareness campaign, Far Out Magazine has teamed up with the suicide prevention charity CALM to help connect you with your favourite artists and hear how music has helped them during their darker times and day-to-day lives.
The organisation, with the full working title of ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’, offer a free, confidential and anonymous helpline for those most in need of mental health support. Now lockdown measures are starting to ease, the impact of the last twelve months has led to CALM seeing a huge spike in their workload.
We at Far Out believe in music’s ability to heal. It could be the moment that the needle drops on your favourite song and provides respite from a chaotic world, or, conversely, it might be the fanatic conversation you have with friends about which guitarist was the greatest. Music, it’s safe to say, has always allowed us to connect with one another and ourselves.
In support of CALM, we’re asking a selection of our favourite people to share nine records that they would prescribe for anyone they met and the stories behind their importance. Doctor’s Orders sees some of our favourite musicians, actors, authors, comedians and more, offer up the most important records, which they deem essential for living well.
Justin’s list of favourite records has seen him opt for songs rather than albums, and it’s the most eclectic combination of tracks that we’ve had in the feature so far. Expect songs you love, as well as obscure choices that will be discoveries to most readers that Hayward-Young has stumbled across on his travels touring the world with The Vaccines.
See the full list, below.
The Vaccines’ Justin Hayward-Young’s 9 favourite records:
Gerry Rafferty – ‘Right Down The Line’
Gerry Rafferty’s 1978 single, ‘Right Down The Line’, is the first pick from The Vaccines leader who remains in awe of the late Scottish singer-songwriter, who shot the fame as the singer in Stealers Wheel. “Whenever I hear this song, I always think of this road trip that my friends and I made to Vegas in 2014,” Haywood-Young blissfully remembers.
“It was the last time like six/seven of us went on a holiday like that for no other reason, just circumstances. I was with all my best friends, and I think I put this song on as I’d recently discovered it and everybody fell in love with it. We just ended up playing it over as we were driving through the desert, and whenever I listen to this song, I’m transported back to that amazing time when I was bonding with my friends and felt very free and very connected.”
Dwight Twilley Band – ‘Looking For The Magic’
The next choice is Dwight Twilley Band’s ‘Looking For The Magic’, which like Hayward-Young’s first selection, has emotional memories attached to it, and every time he listens to the track, he returns to that special place.
“We were on tour in Australia a few years ago, and a girl actually made Freddie (Cowan) a CD with all her favourite songs on, and this song was on it,” he explained. “I remember we were driving from one festival to another, it was like a four-hour drive, and the sun was out. We were just driving along the Australian coast.
“My parents had just broken up like two days before, so all my emotions were really heightened. I just remember listening to this song, and I’d never heard it before but just falling in love with it. Every time I hear it now, I’m taken back to that place, and that was a really special moment. I can still see the sun hitting the water. I know it sounds sort of cheesy, but it’s my relationship with a lot of my favourite music,” Hayward-Young heartfully states.
The Joubert Singers – ‘Stand On The Word’
The Joubert Singers’ 1980s funk and soul masterclass, ‘Stand On The Word’, is the next pick from Hayward-Young, who brings the party atmosphere to the playlist with this one.
“There’s a Larry Levan version, which is an early house kind of remix of it, and it’s just so uplifting,” he tells Far Out.
“Every time I put it on, even if I’m just in my bedroom getting ready to go out or if it comes on at a party or whatever, it always has the same effect. It just makes me want to dance and makes me super happy and everyone else around me super happy, it’s just really euphoric. It never fails to lift me up,” The Vaccines singer shared.
ABBA – ‘Dancing Queen’
The party atmosphere that Haywood-Young kicked into gear with ‘Stand On The Word’ continues to roll ahead into full steam with his next selection, which is none other than ABBA’s pop classic ‘Dancing Queen’.
It’s a track that needs no introduction, and no matter where you are in the world, if the DJ presses play on ‘Dancing Queen’, everybody in the room will be singing it at the top of their lungs.
“It’s just pure unbridled joy and escapism, really, isn’t it?” Hayward-Young notes. “It’s the ultimate wedding song, I suppose. ABBA are one of my favourite bands, and this isn’t necessarily their best song, but again, it’s just like one of those,” the singer says before having a change of heart, “Well, actually, maybe it is one of our songs. It’s a piece of pure pop perfection, and very few songs, in my opinion, can touch it. It just makes me feel good.”
The Beach Boys – ‘Be True To Your School’
The Beach Boys are another band who know a thing or two about creating servings of pop perfection, and narrowing it down to just one song by the pioneering group was a laborious task for the singer who decided on Little Deuce Coupe track, ‘Be True To Your School’.
“Well again, being transported back to a time and place, this reminds me of starting the band,” Hayward-Young reveals. “It was one of our blueprints when we started The Vaccines, and it was one of the songs that Freddie and I really bonded over, so it makes me think of that fraternity we were forming as we started the band.
“The excitement, the hope and the aspiration. I think hope trumps fear and pretty much trumps any other negative emotion, and it reminds me of this hopeful time.”
The Petch Phin Thong Band – ‘Soul Lam Plearn’
This track is undoubtedly the most left-field on the list, and it’s by Thai funk outfit, The Petch Phin Thong Band. There’s scarce information about the group online, and only two songs are available on streaming services. Still, the story of how Hayward-Young stumbled upon their work is a remarkable one.
“I first heard this when we crazy night out in Thailand a couple of years ago when we played this mad show in Bangkok,” The Vaccines singer vividly remembers. “We had to stop the show halfway because the king was driving past, and you’re not supposed to play loud music around him, so I show got interrupted by the king of Thailand. Twice,” he laughed.
“All these armed guards came and shit down the show. It was really strange. We ended up going to this Thai funk club afterwards, hearing this song, and it turned out to be one of the best nights of my life. I made a mental note of the song, and I put it on my driving playlist. Now, whenever I hear it, it takes me back to that night. I don’t know much about them, I don’t really know much about the song or what it means, obviously, but it makes me feel good.”
Arthur Russell – ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’
In a change of pace, Hayward-Young slows the playlist down with the inclusion of Arthur Russell’s heart-wrenching track, ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’. Russell was tragically one of the millions who lost their lives in the AIDS crisis in 1992, and his work sadly didn’t gain prominence until following his death.
“One of my favourite songs of all time,” Hayward-Young declares. “I think one of best things about music and lyrics is knowing you’re not alone. Often when I’m down, I’ll listen to music to remind myself of that and to remind myself that the people I look up to often go through the same thing.
“This song is obviously a weird choice because it’s actually about his illness and obviously, it’s not something I’ve been through myself but, the other great thing about music and lyrics is you can really listen to it, and find new meaning in it, and it can really be about whatever you want it to be about. Even though this is something with a very specific subject, I think the sentiment is one we can all relate to, and I just find it a really heartbreaking song.”
Judee Sill – ‘The Kiss’
Another artist who sadly departed the world prematurely is Judee Sill. She was an extraordinary talent who released two albums with Geffen in the early ’70s, before losing her battle with addiction.
Despite only releasing a short amount of material, Sill has inspired countless songwriters, including Hayward-Young.
“I just think it’s such a beautiful song,” the singer remarked. I think the first time I heard, I cried, which doesn’t happen that often. I was just really, really moved by it. It’s definitely a song I reach for when I’m feeling a little bit over-emotional or something. Just a beautiful song.”
The Strokes – ‘Someday’
The final track on the playlist is sure to end Haywood-Young’s selection in sensational style with The Strokes’ iconic ‘Someday’.
The song is a feel-good anthem that never fails to make you smile unless you’re gifted with a heart of steel. ‘Someday’ epitomises why The Strokes were the rightful voice of a generation and a joyous way to bring the playlist to a close.
“It’s just one of the ultimate indie disco songs,” the singer comments. “Obviously its’s like a song of hope, there’s this euphoria and stuff. I think it’s probably my favourite The Strokes song, and I find myself coming back to it the whole time. It’s s just a great uplifting fun rock ‘n’ roll song.”