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Baker's Dozen

The Passions: Owen Pallett's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , May 29th, 2014 09:25

Owen Pallett's new album helpfully gives us the title for our latest Baker's Dozen, as he talks Luke Turner through selections including Tori Amos, Throbbing Gristle, Jean Luc Ponty, Dean Blunt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Total Freedom and Diamanda Galas

Photograph courtesy of Peter Juhl

Smart, canny lyrics of sex, death, wit and existential quivering, glorious arrangements on songs that flit elegantly between his pop and leftfield sensibilities, a distinctive, multi-role voice... Owen Pallett's new album In Conflict is undoubtedly his finest work to date. Intriguingly, he's decided to shape his Baker's Dozen around albums that he's only heard in the past few years while working on the new record - a few of them are new discoveries from during that time. To an extent, Pallett says, this is because he was determined to avoid nostalgia, to keep himself moving forward: "Part of the reason I moved from Toronto to Montreal this past year was because I felt that, having been in that one city for so many happy years, I was not able to form superior memories to the ones that I formed in my 20s. 'I will never stay out all night getting wasted and dancing my ass off to records'."

However, Pallett denies that he's moving to Montreal to don slippers and up pipe."I can't say it's a hard and fast rule for everybody, some people just launch themselves into home ownership and childrearing really easily, but me, I still love partying and dancing just as much as I love having dinner parties with older friends, staying in and listening to Ornette Coleman or whatever - that sounds pretty adult to me! But living in another city, you don't have to compare it to experiences when you were living in a younger, more supple body."

Aging, responsibility, indulgence, and accepting or denying all of the above, are some of the concerns that filter into the lyrics of 'I Am Not Afraid', the opening track of In Conflict. And, intriguingly, they seem to reflect Pallett's choices - much like his own music, a mixture of the cerebral and the emotionally stirring. Click the picture of Owen Pallett below to begin the run-through.