Starlet Troian Bellisario may play straight-edge overachiever Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars, but her musical taste is anything but mainstream. Her Twitter feed is peppered with shoutouts to indie rock ensemble the Arcade Fire (whose new album, The Suburbs, has been on heavy rotation on Troian's iPod) and supergroup the Dead Weather, who Troian told us she was incredibly excited to see perform live this summer. In our exclusive interview with Troian, she revealed some of her other faves — and why she's totally over the digital music resolution. You've described yourself as being obsessed with music. The show features some really cool, progressive music from emerging artists — what would we find on your iPod? You can always find — my favorite artist since I was in seventh grade — Conor Oberst. What a songwriter.
Yeah, and I mean, talk about being a poet and everything having a story. I believe he's our generation's Dylan. So you can always find anything by Conor. Jack White, also. Nobody really in our generation used the guitar like a lyrical instrument. He makes it sing in a way that Hendrix did. I'm going to go see the Dead Weather concert. I'm so excited! So, anything by Jack White. And I loved Elliott Smith.
That was so sad. He was so talented.
So talented! And just the other day, I had on Pandora Radio on the Conor Oberst channel, and I heard [the Elliott Smith song] "Miss Misery," and I was listening to it in the background as I was cleaning up my house. And all of a sudden I started realizing that the lyrics were different. So I went down and sat in front of my radio and looked at it and saw that it was part of the New Moon album, which they released posthumously, and I guess he re-recorded it. And then my boyfriend came in and found me sitting on the floor in tears because I had never heard those lyrics before. It was a totally different version, and it was so powerful. Just completely overwhelming. It's a really cool recording. It's just so emotional, with music like that — I feel this way about Bright Eyes, too. Listening to it has to be the activity. It's not something that I can just put on while I'm hanging out. I need to be fully engaged with it to have that intense emotional experience. I totally agree. And that's why I love my record player and I try whenever I buy albums not to buy the digital version of them so that I don't have the opportunity so just listen to them on a whim or to pick out songs. I actually have to listen to the album as the artist intended, all the way through, which has such a different quality. I was with my boyfriend and we were cooking and [the record] stopped, and he turned to me and said, "Oh my God, I forgot that you have to turn it over." It was just that one act of engaging back with the music and not just using it as atmosphere in the back of your brain buzzing a hundred miles an hour.