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Baker's Dozen

Effort For Effortlessness: Neil Finn's Favourite Albums
Barnaby Smith , January 30th, 2014 07:32

Ahead of his forthcoming solo album Dizzy Heights, the Crowded House man talks Barnaby Smith through his 13 favourite records


Tinariwen - Tassili
I could easily have chosen their album before this [Imidiwan], because that was the first one I got to know. We were lucky enough to be on the bill with them at Womad in Australia about two years ago, and we were out on the balcony of the hotel having breakfast and they were out on the balcony rehearsing on this fake lawn terrace thing, and to get a private concert from them was a very memorable experience for me. So I suppose I'm relating this choice to an experience I had. They played that night and played a few songs off that record, and just that whole way of playing, that Mali perspective on blues and the combinations they employ and the guitar playing, were a revelation when I heard it. I spent a whole summer at the beach listening to that album every day, amongst other things of course, but I never got sick of it.

When you discover African music with its different shades and echoes it's such a relief, because I don't have to, as I often do with pop music, try and get inside it and understand what's making it work. I don't really understand how it does work, it just gets into the back of your cranium and works its magic.