High Five

Hadden Stemp of the New Highway Hymnal’s 5 favorite debuts

Sam Stambaugh.

After whetting appetites with two singles last year, local doom-and-gloom psych rockers the New Highway Hymnal released their full-length debut, “Whispers,” last month on the Allston-based indie label Vanya Records.

“We wanted it to sound live, and we wanted it to have a ’60s feel — those were the two main goals,” says singer-guitarist Hadden Stemp. “I think we managed to do both of those.”

With classic first albums in mind, we asked Stemp to name his five favorite debuts.


1. The Doors, “The Doors” “I’m really into the way things are recorded, and I love the way that album is recorded. It’s a very live album. It’s easy to overproduce, and it’s easy to keep it raw, but it’s difficult to get it just right.”

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2. Dr. Dre, “The Chronic” “Again, the production on that one is great, the way the songs flow together. I wouldn’t consider myself a hip-hop fan in general, but I like that album and a few others.”

3. The Black Angels, “Passover” “I love the way they use reverb on it.”

4. Spacemen 3, “Sound of Confusion” “It’s super fuzzy and pretty raw, and they do a cover of the 13th Floor Elevators’ ‘Roller Coaster’ and a Stooges cover.”

5. The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Psychocandy” “Underneath all that white noise are some amazing melodies.”


The New Highway Hymnal performs at T.T. the Bear’s on Dec. 5, 9 p.m. Tickets: $8. 617-492-2327,