little image’s “Self-Titled” Influences Playlist

With the Dallas alt-pop trio’s debut album out now, Jackson Simmons shares how artists ranging from Radiohead to Brockhampton laid the groundwork for it.

little image’s Self-Titled Influences Playlist

With the Dallas alt-pop trio’s debut album out now, Jackson Simmons shares how artists ranging from Radiohead to Brockhampton laid the groundwork for it.

Words: Kim March

Photo: Tyler Krippaehne

May 24, 2023

It’s been a steady climb for Dallas alt-pop trio little image since releasing their debut single “Worth It” at the onset of 2020, followed by a certain global event which encouraged them to go all in on the project. Over the next two years, momentous singles “Ego” and “Lungs Burn” followed before the reveal of their debut album Self-Titled—cleverly leaving space for an actual self-titled record should they want to reinvent themselves somewhere down the line—was announced, ultimately arriving earlier this month.

The album betrays the trio’s love of indie rock as it evolved from the early-’00s post-punk explosion, through the ubiquity of more colorful groups like Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, and M83 later in the decade, and even up to the early-’10s rise of alt-rock radio staples such as Cage the Elephant and alt-J. Self-Titled’s diversity of sound permits a wide variety of artists popularized over the course of 15 years or so to rear their heads unexpectedly across the LP without ever feeling at all out of place.

In the wake of the album dropping earlier this month via Hollywood Records, vocalist Jackson Simmons shared a playlist with us outlining some of the specific influences cited in the band’s music, from the aforementioned alt-rock outfits to more unexpected icons like The Notorious B.I.G. and New Radicals. Check out Self-Titled here, and find Simmons’ playlist and commentary on each pick below.

New Radicals, “You Get What You Give”
This feels like one of the most well-rounded written songs I’ve ever heard. Just makes you feel good and also feels nostalgic. 

Turnstile, “Holiday”
The buildup at the beginning is so special—then the hit when it comes in and starts the chorus feels so perfect. One of those simple chorus songs that just fits. 

The Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”
I remember hearing this song for the first time and, when the beat comes in, feeling all kinds of things. The mixture of the trashy-sounding beat with the beautiful funky chords gets me every time. 

Radiohead, “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”
This song is what made Radiohead my favorite band of all time. I remember listening to it on repeat at the job I worked at, and the fact that the same repetitive beat continues and doesn’t get old is so insane to me. 

Usher, “U Got It Bad”
I grew up listening to R&B with my dad, and this one just brings back all kinds of nostalgia for me. 

Cage the Elephant, “Cigarette Daydreams”
By far one of the most special songs to me, personally—so many memories come back when this song comes on and I tear up just about every time I hear it. 

Brockhampton, “TONYA”
A musical journey, to say the least. From gorgeous melodies to the turn when it goes into Kevin’s verse. So beautiful. 

Bombay Bicycle Club, “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep”
It’s the perfect opening track to an album: It has a droney vibe at the beginning, then the guitars come in, then drums cut to this wild breakbeat. I’m constantly trying to write something that makes me feel the same way this song does. 

alt-J, “Tessellate”
Such a good contrasted song—it has dark chords that build into the trash drums, and the single line chorus feels just right.

little image, “BLUE”
Probably my favorite song I’ve ever written. It feels very true to my beliefs in how we should act as humans toward others, especially when we might disagree with them. Also musically is one of my favorites.