The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

The Business Of Forever: Theo Hutchcraft Of Hurts' Favourite Albums
Simon Price , October 6th, 2015 12:04

The lead singer of classy, continent-conquering synth duo Hurts, about to release their third album, Surrender, goes from Phil Spector to Nine Inch Nails via UK hip-hop and Bulgarian folk songs as he picks his top 13


The Streets - Original Pirate Material
What I love about Mike Skinner and The Streets is the intense individuality to the sound, and the peculiar eccentricity that only comes with being British. It's a miracle he's a pop star, in a lot of ways. Because the music's so strange. From a lyrical point of view he's fantastic, but the rhyme schemes are so weird. They're traditional poetry rhyme schemes in many ways: stuff half-rhymes, or doesn't rhyme, often. I remember hearing 'Has It Come to This?' in the car for the first time, and I turned it down because when it started I thought it was just another UK garage song. But when he started speaking, I was like, "Hold on…" And it hit me at a good time in my life. I must have been about 16, and I was doing the things he was singing about. And the second album, even more so. But the first one has got the genesis of that kitchen sink element to it. There's also an intellect that makes it so potent. And 'Weak Become Heroes' perfectly encapsulates the anticipation of a night out. The moment when you're waiting for a taxi or you're sat waiting to be picked up or you're on the bus, or you're heading to your friend's house for a party... The opening strings and pianos in 'Weak Become Heroes' capture that mood. That song's about the anticipation of the unknown, essentially. And it takes insight to carry that off. It simultaneously takes an outsider and someone who's very involved. I get goosebumps when I hear it, even now. And 'Let's Push Things Forward' is like a Specials song, an amazing ska track. And 'Don't Mug Yourself' is hilarious. I think what he does is observe the life he lives, and the life people around him live, which is quite hard to do. A lot of the people on my list are lyricists who lit fireworks in my head when I was a kid. And a lot of it stems from having this intense desire for adventure and freedom, which I've been fortunate enough to embark upon, but when I was living in the Dales in Yorkshire, it was desperate to come out. And I wanted to feel like I was living in Dazed And Confused, the movie, or something like that. And my only outlet for that was people like Mike Skinner, so I hold him very dear.