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Baker's Dozen

An Unexpected Journey: Elijah Wood's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , May 27th, 2016 07:28

As his new film The Trust hits the cinemas, actor, movie producer and DJ Elijah Wood tells us about 13 albums that have blown him away at various points in his life

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The Sundays- Reading, Writing And Arithmetic

This is another mainstay for me. Again, this is a record of my youth. This is something I really grew up listening to. I love all three of their records; Static & Silence I actually think doesn't get the attention it deserves as a late-career final bow of a band that had really dominated during the early to mid-nineties. I think that record is deserving of far more praise. But I think Reading, Writing And Arithmetic remains the ultimate statement of the band, just in terms of representing who they are, what they are, the kinds of songs that they write. And at the centre of all of it is Harriet Wheeler's angelic voice that just carries you away. There's no-one like her. It's a voice that really can't be compared to anyone else, certainly not from the 90s. It's obviously very much another instrument in that band. When that album came out I was ten, and I think I probably discovered it when I was 11. And that also was because of my brother. That's the real benefit of having an older brother; you do get exposed to music that you wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to, at quite a young age. So The Sundays were a staple for me since before I was a teenager. I keep hoping that they're going to get back together and record one more record. I occasionally will write something on Twitter like Harriet Wheeler where are you? It hasn't gotten any response.

On the other hand that enigmatic quality and that sense of a small but perfectly formed catalogue of work sort of adds to the appeal as well, doesn't it?

It does. And that's the great conundrum I think with bands that you love that have a short or long catalogue, but that was done very long ago. You can't help but want more, but then comes that thought of well, it's been so long now, can that magic be recaptured? The impulse as a fan of a band is to want them to return and exist again, and it's the eternal struggle of do you want the band to sound like you remember or do you really want them to do something different? Obviously doing something different is what one often should do, because trying to go back and do the same things normally doesn't yield great results. It's a tough one. And I feel like we're in kind of an unprecedented time in that regard, specifically with bands from the 90s. I don't know that it's definitely a good thing. I think My Bloody Valentine put out a great new record; that was an exception to the rule. But it’s a weird thing when you see these festival line-ups and it's all of these bands returning and playing their old records again. We're very much locked into this new, unprecedented era of nostalgia. I find it a little disturbing. It's kind of like having your cake and eating it too, but it's not pushing anything forward. And I think the same thing's happening in the film industry. I think we're at this very strange place that in ten years from now we'll look back on with a great deal of curiosity, and will realise that we were in sort of an unprecedented era that was not necessarily defined by moving things forward but rather by looking back. That's really interesting.


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