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Baker's Dozen

Playing For Keeps: Cate Le Bon's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , September 4th, 2014 11:33

With her UK tour just started, singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon tells John Freeman about how an attitude of playfulness runs through her 13 top LPs


Selda - Selda
She is a Turkish goddess. It is folk [music] in its essence, I suppose, but this record is fierce. She is angry and compelling and this record fires me up.

It was when I was on tour with Gruff [Rhys] – maybe about eight years ago – and Andy Votel was with us and doing DJ sets and he was playing 'Ince Ince' from this record. I had become a bit lazy about discovering music and had become a bit fatigued at listening to new things. Suddenly Andy is playing music like Selda and it was so exciting. He opened a world of new music to me. I started listening to things by Iranian female musicians like Googoosh and also to Susan Christie's Paint A Lady album. It was all incredibly exciting music that I hadn't known about it. It was like opening Pandora's Box to me.

I would play it to everyone I possibly could. I would constantly be saying, "Have you heard this record by Selda? It's one of the best records I have ever heard" and I would get it out and play it to anyone. It would always get the same reaction. I remember playing it to St Vincent when I was touring with her and she lost her shit when she heard it. I think she subsequently went on to cover one of the songs.

Last year I was playing a show in Switzerland in this old cinema which was absolutely incredible. It had a huge disco ball and we were having a bit of a lock-in. We were having our own private disco in this cinema and I put a Selda track on and everybody just went absolutely apeshit. It is just a record that you cannot get fatigued by – I was listening to it this morning and got excited all over again. The synths and the electric sitars on it are so infectious – the album is like a musical virus. I recommend everyone listens to it.