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Baker's Dozen

Funk Soul Brother: Alexis Taylor Of Hot Chip's Favourite Albums
Dom Smith , July 17th, 2014 12:58

With his second solo album Await Barbarians released last month and a run of summer festival sets upcoming, the Hot Chip and About Group man gives Dom Smith his favourite album rundown


Palace Music - Arise Therefore
I first heard the record in Joe's [Goddard, Hot Chip] house, and I think we would have been about 16 or something. He'd been told about Palace by Kieran [Hebden, Four Tet], and we would all go to the Beggar's Banquet record shop in Putney after school, and buy and listen to things in there. We'd buy hip-hop, different indie records and pop albums. It was particularly good for hip-hop, and these lo-fi indie rock records. That's where we bought the album, and we were in Joe's room where we would work on Hot Chip recordings, and it sounded so different to anything I'd ever heard before, because it's so slow-paced. Will Oldham's voice is so unusual when you hear it, and particularly at that time before he'd developed into being slightly more well-known, his voice was particularly eccentric - it cracks in some interesting ways; it's not a formally trained voice - over that sparse piano and drum machine backing.

The song that I first heard was 'You Have Cum In Your Hair And Your Dick Is Hanging Out' - a memorable title! The song doesn't have those words in it. It's just a beautiful heartbreaking ballad, and it's hard to know sometimes what that dense lyrical terrain is all about with Will Oldham. Some of the symbolism is quite hard to read, but it makes an emotional impact straight away. It took me a long time to get to know that record. I bought my own copy in Lancaster when I went to visit a friend at university, and I just kept going back to it. Each time there would be another song that I would get to know and love. I had a long car journey with all of Hot Chip, and some friends of ours from a festival recently, and we listened to the record, and it was another breakthrough where it became more meaningful to me.