He enjoyed solo success with Blue Hat For A Blue Day.
His latest album is Woodland Echoes and he tours in May: nickheyward.com/gigs
THE BEATLES: Revolver (EMI)
I use this as a mental template when I start recording because I feel it is the perfect pop album, something to aim for, recorded when they were at the top of their game.
I found The Beatles in 1982. It was like going up into the loft and opening a box filled with gold.
XTC: White Music (Ape House)
This inspired me to do music. It was electric and I had never seen a band like them.
They were dynamic, raw and passionate. Lyrically, with songs like I’m Bugged, it was like poetry.
SUFJAN STEVENS: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)
My partner introduced me to this in the car, which is a great place because you can listen to music subconsciously and the windscreen becomes like a cinema screen.
It is mainly about the passing of his mother.
It is gentle with beautiful, heartfelt poetry. I felt I was getting an insight into their relationship.
ELLIOTT SMITH: XO (Polydor)
Delicate but passionate, where less is more. When I went to India in about 1999, I just had this one album with me.
I got an old bus from the north to the south and played this non-stop.
This album was the soundtrack for the landscape and the smiling children at the side of the road.
TALKING HEADS: 77 (Sire)
I wanted to go to art school and be in a band like this. They looked like a beat group from a French avant-garde film. I saw them live a lot. The music is jerky, jangly and you are pulled in different directions. Brilliant lyrics with surreal subject matter.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE: The Greatest Hits (CMG)
Sublime. No one else could play music as good as this. It makes you feel elated. A guy at work used to play them non-stop and I never got bored. They dressed up on stage like they had landed from somewhere else, dancing together with the music.