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Baker's Dozen

Keen On These: Tom Chaplin Of Keane's Favourite Albums
Yohann Koshy , November 19th, 2013 08:58

Following the release of their greatest hits last week, the band's singer and guitarist selects the best of his record collection


Ron Sexsmith – Retriever
He’s one of those people, once you get into it, it’s very hard to listen to anything else for a while. I used to hear the name, and people would recommend him but once I got into him it was like finding a treasure trove with all these amazing albums. Retriever’s probably my favourite, his lyrics are so conversational, they reflect everyday life, the difficulty of navigating it, so perfectly. We met a few years ago, he’s real hero of mine but I think he’s quite used to lots of people, way more successful and lauded than I will ever be, people like Macca, Chris Martin, Elvis Costello, coming up and praising him. He is a bit of an artists’ artist in a way. So I got the sense that he thought, “Oh great, another person in a band that likes me but why doesn’t the public-at-large like me!”. I just don’t understand it, myself. Maybe this is the problem, he’s got a straight, almost pub rock sound to what he does, maybe that puts people off, but it’s much more layered and intricate. That, for me, is often the mark of a great songwriter where you’re lulled into thinking the songs are simple or superficial but when you really listen to them, you realise it’s articulating something way more profound. in fact that reminds me, when I finally got into him, it’s because I went to Glastonbury five or six years ago as a punter. I’d had a really shit time, it was a bit of a complicated time in my life, I kept having to go to the American embassy to do all these blood tests and piss tests to try and get into America, because things had got out in the press that I’d had a few issues with alcohol and drugs and the American embassy had said, “You’re not coming in”. I remember feeling so fucking miserable and then I turned up at Glastonbury and I just walked into this tent and he played a song called 'All In Good Time', it’s all about how what you consider to be a big deal is insignificant when you look back at it with hindsight. I heard this song for the first time and it was so resonant and potent in that specific moment, it was like, “Wow, this is exactly where I’m at”. It was like he was telling me, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be alright!”.