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Baker's Dozen

Death Before Silence: Ed Harcourt's Favourite Albums
Wyndham Wallace , March 4th, 2013 06:44

Singer, songwriter, pianist and all-round bon viveur Ed Harcourt talks to Wyndham Wallace about his favourite records


Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot
When I heard this record, it’s like… I can’t explain what it did to me. It was just so odd. It was like this new world. It just means so much to me. I get a bit weird and emotional talking about it. I wrote an obituary for The Quietus about [Mark Linkous] [], and I wrote about this record. I actually have it just sitting on my piano, the CD that I first bought in, whatever, the late 90s. ‘Saturday’ was the first one I heard from that. I had a different version which I love, which I think was a demo version and it had a drum machine on it. I’ve been trying to find that version forever and I can’t locate it.

Oh, God. There will never be anyone like him, really. There was this triptych of albums that I got into: this one, and Electric Shock Blues by Eels, and Neutral Milk Hotel’s album, In An Aeroplane Over The Sea. Three amazing records, not in a similar vein but you could put them under the same umbrella. But the Sparklehorse one really, really… Sparklehorse and Tom Waits were the two things that really inspired me to start doing my own music.

I could talk about Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot all night. It’s a fucking perfect album for me. And ‘Cow’. I love ‘Cow’! And you know what’s amazing about ‘Spirit Ditch’ is the way the chorus comes in instrumentally first, and that’s what basically just fucks you up. It kills you completely, because when the instrumentation kicks in in that first bit, you’re just like Awwwwww! And then when he comes in, when he’s singing about horses and whatever fucked up dreams he’s trying to write about, that’s amazing…