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Baker's Dozen

Magical Experiences: James Holden's Favourite Albums
Rory Gibb , June 5th, 2014 15:08

Following last year's feral The Inheritors album, Border Community label head James Holden is about to take his newly developed live show on tour, including to Field Day and Sonar Barcelona. Rory Gibb catches up with him to discuss thirteen favourite and formative albums, improvisation and atheist spirituality


PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

In terms of being a great work to put on a pedestal, this is the one from [PJ Harvey's] work. Also the little things: the production, the stylistic aspects, there are no bad signifiers in this one, whereas the older ones sound perhaps just the tiniest bit of-their-era in some of the things they did. But this one is just perfect in every respect, it's daunting how perfect it is. I'm not really a lyrics person on the whole, but lyrically this one I just find really affecting. Everything is tied together; the instrumentation, the style of singing, the melody, all tying in with the lyrics and what she's talking about. There's nothing extraneous in it, even the weirder bits, the bits with other music playing sort of in-key over the middle of tracks - it's brave in how it goes all-out in creating a sonic world and painting a picture. Very heart on sleeve, isn't it, compared to a lot of music I like. She put this out when The Inheritors was almost finished but not released in any way, and I was a bit sad, like 'Oh, she's done a record about England, and it's better than my record about England!' [laughs]. Oh well, never mind.