The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


The Blue Nile – Hats
One of the greatest gifts I’ve even been given was when someone told me to check out Blue Nile. It’s extraordinary, they are such a great band. And you feel like you’re part of a little club once you get to know their music. They don’t get name checked very often, but I remember Guy Garvey mentioned them when he was picking up an award for Elbow and it’s like, you’re looking out for someone who knows their music and when you find them you have an immediate jumping off point. Hats has got that emotional element. It’s got a song called 'The Downtown Lights' - I’ve got to be careful not to say every song I mention here’s the great song I’ve ever heard, but 'The Downtown Lights' is certainly up there. What I like about Paul Buchanan’s writing is that his songs are like atmospherics or they’re kind of analogous. They don’t kind of necessarily describe situations very directly but he frames them in a different way. 'The Downtown Lights' is a great example, I suppose it’s saying that he wants companionship and that the world of the downtown lights and the busy streets and all of that stuff is a kind of representation of what it’s like when he’s with whoever he’s trying to describe in the story of the song. To frame a love song like that is really interesting. The production’s interesting with them as well - sometimes I wonder if people are put off by that. Especially the 80s stuff, it can be very synth-y and almost, it’s almost, really super middle-of-the-road! There’s something about it that can be really obvious but once you get into it, it’s the greatest gift because the lyrics are so subtle and nuanced. It’s something I revisit when I’m in a reflective or nostalgic mood.