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Baker's Dozen

A Stellular Selection: Rose Dougall's Favourite Albums
Jeremy Allen , March 1st, 2017 11:32

As she prepares to tour new album Stellular, Rose Dougall guides Jeremy Allen through her favourite 13 records, from dub reggae to folk and the otherworldly pop of Broadcast

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Bridget St John - Ask Me No Questions
She is definitely one of my favourite all-time British singers, and this is the first record she made. John Peel signed her to his Dandelion Records, and he produced it as well. My dad introduced me to it; I grew up listening to a lot of folk, which is the cornerstone of my musical development really. And John Martyn plays on a couple of songs, and he's one of my absolute favourites too.

Her voice in particular avoids that standard high pitched kind of floral thing... which I love, but I can't sing like that myself. I've always had a mezzo-y, alto-y kind of voice. There's a limit in her melodies. It sounds kind of restrained and a lot of the melody is in the guitar, so it's holding back, but it still sounds very womanly and human. And the fact she wrote her own songs was quite an uncommon thing at that time. She almost has a kind of melodical Nico sound to her voice.

It's just one of those records that never pushes too far out of one flavour, but it's still incredibly intimate and arresting at the same time. It's something I've thought about a lot - because I have a tendency to always want to over-colour things, and I really listened to her economy of melody, and you can achieve so much in that. She's the best.

She's still playing and her voice is still completely intact - she has such a lightness of touch. She just moved to New York and gave the whole thing up for a while and had a baby. It's really un-needy. There are a lot of those woman - Anne Briggs, Vashti Bunyan, Shirley Collins - where they make you come to them, and I like that.


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