The rules are simple(ish): they can’t repeat an album, and to just make it that little bit more interesting they have to use the same track number from another album. For example, Track 1 could be the opening track of the incredible Stone Roses’ debut ‘I Wanna Be Adored’. Track 2 could be Blur’s ‘Song 2′ – you get the idea? Basically their fave track 1,2,3 etc from 10 different albums.

This months Fantasy Album comes from Hayley Mary who is the lead singer of the award winning The Jezabels and solo artist. Mary has been singing with the Aussie indie band The Jezabels since 2007 and they have won numerous awards back home and have toured the world supporting their three previous albums. Now Mary has recorded her solo material collaborating with Johnny Took (DMAS) and Patrick Harrowsmith and the new single ‘The Chain‘ out now.

1.’Cherry Coloured Funk’ – Cocteau Twins, Heaven Or Las Vegas

I first heard the Cocteau Twins when our American tour manager played it on a long late night drive down a dead straight highway through the prairies of Canada (one of the single most monotonous and beige landscapes on earth). He couldn’t believe I didn’t know them and put them on. Suddenly the van exploded with the majestic Scottish sound, everyone woke up and felt alive and inspired by it’s beauty. It was a very special moment and I’ve been  convert ever since.”

2.’Killer Queen’ – Queen, Sheer Heart Attack

I must have been four years old when a repeat of Queen’s 1974 performance of ‘Killer Queen’ came on the telly. I remember I said immediately to my mum, “Who is that man? I want to be him and I want to marry him as well.” And she said, “I’m afraid he’s gay, Hayley,” to which I replied, “I will turn him straight and we will marry and he will teach me how to sing.” Then she said, “I’m afraid he just died of AIDS, Hayley.” And I ran to my room crying my four-year-old eyes out. I’d fallen in love at first sight and had my heart broken within 3 minutes and 12 seconds. Mercury is the best performer I’ve ever seen. Hands down. “

3. ‘Unchained Melody’ – Righteous Brothers, Just Once In My Life

First song I ever learned to sing. Around the same age as the Queen experience, the movie ‘Ghost’ came on the telly. (That scene where they get sexy with the pottery wheel and then suddenly they’re perfectly clean and in bed, with no stopping to wash and dry their hands always stuck out as odd to me, even at 4), but the tune that came on in the background was the most amazing song I’d ever heard and blew my mind. Few days later I was reading the song book Dad kept in the toilet and it happened to be in there, so I learnt to sing it. “

4.’Life on Mars?’ – David Bowie, Hunky Dory

 “I think my dad played this on guitar a lot just before he and my mum split up and for some reason I had the audacity to think I was the girl with the mousy hair caught in some dystopian love story. Sometimes I still do. I think sometimes you just get so used to Bowie that you forget how fucking amazing his lyrics are. Everything about him was transcendent but relatable .”

5.’Knowing Me, Knowing You’ – ABBA, Arrival

I always had one question that would weed out meaningless flings from serious dating material in my mind: “What do you think of ABBA?” If you don’t take them at least a little seriously, I theorise that you are repressed in some way, at least for now. But maybe one day, when you mature, and you become the kind of young father who has to buy tampons for his wife for the first time and you just grow up and get on with it because the kids are screaming and suddenly you see what matters and what doesn’t, that will be around the time that you realise you like ABBA. Of course, they’d never get  away with any of those lyrics if they weren’t straight out of a Scandinavian post-war fairytale, but for ABBA you gotta just tip your hat and suspend your disbelief to make way for joy. “

6.‘Make Me Smile (Come up and See Me)’ – Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels, The Best Years Of Our Lives.

Love the poetic blend of cynicism and romance that British punks do the best. Also I am a major sucker for acoustic guitar solos. Bass lines are also sick. 

7.‘I’ll Stand By You’- Pretenders, Last of the Independents 

Does one needs to explain why this song is on one’s fantasy album? Perfect tune. I’ll say no more.

8.To Her Door’- Paul Kelly & The Messengers, Under the Sun.

Paul Kelly is probably one of the best songwriters Australia has ever produced, master of the story-telling style and the king of the genre I like to call ‘Australiana.’  He’s a massive influence on me and almost all other jangly guitar rock and contemporary folk in the country. This one always got me cos it’s about a young father struggling against addiction to get it together and get back with his family. Not the kind of perspective that gets a lot airplay these days and incredibly heartwarming.

9.’Love Will Tear Us Apart’ – Joy Division, Substance

I love the cold and I love the rain, so I love the Northern UK and my partner and I moved to Edinburgh for about a year. Trying to describe to friends back home the exhilarating feeling I had just walking out of my door in Leith, I would say, “You pull your coat around you and forge up a hill into the freezing grey against gusts of wind on a glistening-wet cobblestoned streets, surrounded by old sandstone and castles, and it almost  feels like the intro to ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ starts playing from some heavenly stereo in the sky. It’s fucking sublime. That’s what that song sums up to me, the allure of the sublime. It’t not always safe or warm or easy, but it pulls you to it like the ocean from whence we came. “

10.’Buckets Of Rain’ – Bob Dylan, Blood On The Tracks

In honesty, I couldn’t think of any of my favourite songs that are number 10 on a record, so I’ve gone with my boyfriend’s favourite, because he gets little teary in his eyes a little when he listens to songs he loves. He says that everyone always talks about how great Dylan’s lyrics are, but they often fail to mention the beauty of his melodies, and he’s actually spot on. Also, like I said I really like the rain, buckets of rain.”

And there we have an album that encapsulates the music of Hayley Mary, so many of these artist can be heard in her musical output and what a glorious group of artists to be influenced by. Paul Kelly maybe knew to many of our British readers, can we recommend his album with Neil Finn ‘Goin’ Your Way’ as a starting point.

A big thank you to Hayley Mary for taking part, and if you would like to find out more about any upcoming releases and her latest single ‘The Chain’ please visit hayleymary.com . Or follow her on social media: hayleymarymusic .

Check out ‘The Chain’ below