With Pentatonix: The Album, set for release on Oct. 16, the five voices of the a cappella hit – Avi Kaplan, 26, Kirstin Maldonado, 23, Scott Hoying, 24, Mitch Grassi, 23 and Kevin Olusola, 27 – obviously have music on the brain these days.
So when we got a chance to chat with the crew – fresh off their opening-act gig on Kelly Clarkson’s U.S. tour – we had to ask about the songs that inspire them most (aside from their new single “Can’t Sleep Love,” that is). Here’s what they had to say – and a Spotify playlist to go along with it:
Avi: Iron & Wine, “Such Great Heights”
“That was the moment I fell in love with folk music and started to refine my own taste,” he tells PEOPLE of the group’s cover of the 2003 Postal Service hit.
Kirstin: Sara Bareilles, “Gravity”
“It was the first song that completely floored me. It showed me how powerful music could be by transcending anyone’s situation and speaking to their hearts.”
Scott: Ciara, “1, 2 Step (feat. Missy Elliot)”
“It was my first ringtone on my first cell phone. I will always associate that song with getting a cell phone and finally feeling kind of cool.”
Mitch: Imogen Heap, “Hide and Seek”
“It is beautifully simplistic,” says Mitch, who was mesmerized by the use of a vocoder to manipulate Heap’s voice. “The rich harmonies moved me.”
Kevin: The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
“After hearing it, I learned about how Sting was a musician first,” says Kevin, who started as a cellist. “It gave me confidence to learn how to sing.”
Scott: Jazmine Sullivan, “In Love with Another Man”
Hearing this song “was the moment I realized I love R&B and want to sing just like her,” he says.
Mitch: Sophie, “Lemonade”
“I played it all of 2014 and I’m still playing it now! I think it’s pure pop genius, and Sophie’s music is, in my opinion, revolutionary.”
Kevin: Mark Summer, “Julie-O”
“I heard the piece played at Ithaca College during a Suzuki cello summer camp after my ninth grade year,” he recalls. “It’s the first piece I’d ever heard that took a modern approach to classical music and made me realize it was cool to take risks with the cello.”