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Baker's Dozen

Really Heavy Things: Devin Townsend's Favourite Albums
Toby Cook , December 18th, 2012 13:18

…well, apart from Enya. The Strapping Young Lad man offers up his top albums


The Young Gods – Only Heaven/Second Nature
I’ve sort of cheated a bit here, but here’s why: when I first heard Only Heaven I was convinced that it wasn’t ever going to get any better, I was like "this record defines this kind of luminescent, airy, subtle sort of thing that I’ve been looking for, without knowing that I’ve been looking for, forever". And when I heard Second Nature I was like "oh fuck; that’s it, forget it man, I have to listen to Only Heaven now because Second Nature sucks!" It’s just this kind of droning, quiet thing – all those things that I liked about Only Heaven had been lost. And so I listened to Only Heaven again, relentlessly, and all the remixes and shit, and then one day I listened to Second Nature in the right frame of mind and because it’s so quiet and so subtle I realised that there was a way to say the exact same thing in a completely different way, and the thing that is so cool about Second Nature is that it is all the things that I liked about Only Heaven distilled down to a point where unless you’re listening incredibly intently to it you lose it completely – it’s almost like it doesn’t exist. And so Second Nature ended up taking over and is now, ultimately my favourite Young Gods record because it’s just so subtle, it’s like a way to say all the things I’d loved before but in a totally downplayed sense, and I think that that mood for them was just brilliant.

They’ve been a huge, huge influence on me musically – there’s a transition in the middle of, I think, the third song on Only Heaven where it goes to this tribal beat thing after about three minutes of ambience and I love that tribalism that comes with Young Gods, like it’s obviously this very modern sound with computers and all that, but it’s not disconnected from the ideas of the elements – wind and fire and all that. And I think another thing that I find very interesting, and loved about Young Gods, is his accent, the way that he phrased sentences was artistically very interesting to me and because of the accent it’s not like you’re listening to your buddy saying it. It just seemed very alien to me and I found that there’s a beauty in there that was foreign and very isolated from everything else, and I love that vibe, that sense of, like, one whispering person in the middle of this sort of tribal, computerised environment.