The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Coal Into Diamonds: Anand Wilder's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , October 7th, 2014 13:32

Following the release of his album Break Line The Musical with Maxwell Kardon, the Yeasayer man talks Nick Hutchings through an appropriately musical-themed top 13


Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps
I remember when I was in high school someone signed my yearbook - this guy Guy Blakeslee who's now in the band The Entrance - amazing guitarist and he told me how to play the A minor chord. He signed my yearbook, "Hey hey, my my, rock and roll will never die", and I remember thinking, oh my god this guy's a genius, and then I found out it was the genius Neil Young. A genius steal. He probably thought I should have known it, but anyway I think I got the album after I found that out and it became one of those albums that feel like they're your own secret album. My mum listened to Harvest a lot so I knew the 'Heart Of Gold' era, which I also love. Rust Never Sleeps became my personal Neil Young treasure. It has such a raw sound, I guess because it was recorded live. I didn't even know there were overdubs on it. Actually a lot of the albums I chose were those live albums that are what is live, what isn't live?. But on one song on the musical we were stuck on the opening and I went back to Rust Never Sleeps and pretty much ripped off the song 'Thrasher' - the opening to that song. That was 'Fathers And Brothers' - it's just a stupid little simple [thing], we were just going for something really simple and I remember we worked on it all night, trying to get this arpeggiated thing working and we just went for the straight strum in the end, and the engineer/mixer guy came back and said, "Thank god you you went for the simple thing". 'Powderfinger', 'Pocahontas', they're all great. Young is somehow able to pull off these songs all about the plight of American man that would just seem so cheesy nowadays, but I think there was this experimentation with subject matter in 70s songwriting that was kind of innocent and is not really done today. I enjoy the storytelling of Neil Young, the simplicity of it all, and just that voice [that] can sing just about anything and make it sound good.