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Baker's Dozen

A F**king Joy: Aidan Moffat's Favourite Albums
Daniel Dylan Wray , April 2nd, 2015 14:15

With Aidan Moffat's excellent new record with Bill Wells just out, we sent Daniel Dylan Wray up to Glasgow to meet the former Arab Strap man/Quietus sex columnist to discuss his top formative albums. And, with the help of beers, a record player and one powerful deployment of the phrase "get to utter fuck", here's what he picked

Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat released Everything's Getting Older in 2011 in which, as the title suggests, the ex-Arab Strap man confronted the realities of growing older. "These days it's all shopping lists and school runs, direct debits and tax credits, nasal hair and fungal nail infections," he reflected, over Philip Glass-like strings and Wells' sparse piano lines. Four years later the duo have released the excellent The Most Important Place In The World, a record - while sonically and lyrically broader - which still finds Moffatt lyrically splicing up the world he sees through his aging eyes and extracting the fundamental differences: "The girls won't see you now, they won't hear you now, they just want to dance with those baby-face boys but you could take them all, these fucking amateurs in their sisters' clothes and unnecessary spectacles."

The album uses the city as a vehicle to explore temptation, anonymity and the possibilities held within its realms. Of the album Moffatt has said it is "a salute to the city and the secrets she hides; it's ticking clocks and dirty dishes; it's raising the devil on old equipment. It's about the life we want versus the life we need - and deciding which is which." On his Baker's Dozen however - which we do up in Glasgow over beers in a hotel room, after we get a little loosened up in Moffatt's favourite city hangout Nice N Sleazy - is an ode to youth, to the formative, mind-shaping teenage years. Or as he puts it: "What I mostly wanted to do with these was talk about what I listened to mostly when I was young and the things that stay with you. They're not necessarily what I think are the best records I've ever heard but the records that are ingrained in me and inspired me when I was a youth. They're all pretty much up until I was sixteen or seventeen." It's also a very female-heavy list, which, given the raunchiness of much of Moffat's lyrics over the years, goes some way to explaining who implanted those thoughts and instilled those desires to lyrically paint the physical realities of sex so frequently, and accurately, found in his work. In fact it was the sexual frankness of a young PJ Harvey that Moffatt credits to starting "my whole fucking career". He may also, it should be noted, have set a new swearing record for a Baker's Dozen feature.

The Most Important Place In The World is out now on Chemikal Underground. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat start a five-date UK tour at The Mining Institute in Newcastle on May 28; head here for full details. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Aidan's choices