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Baker's Dozen

Spiders' Webs From Scraps: Guy Garvey's Favourite Albums
Lisa Jenkins , May 11th, 2016 09:59

Before his edition of the Meltdown festival begins next month, the singer-songwriter, broadcaster and Elbow frontman talks to Lisa Jenkins about his love of Talk Talk, lyrical grey areas and nutmeg-based mishaps


The Acorn – Glory Hope Mountain
It's just a gorgeous record with, again, a big heart in the middle of it. If you were to choose a tune to listen to, I'd listen to 'Lullaby' at the end of the record. Rolf Klausener's mother escaped an abusive childhood in Honduras. Her mother died in childbirth, and as she was brought up, she was abused, and she made an escape which involved crossing a swollen river, where she was rescued from drowning by a complete stranger whose face she never saw. He only found this out because his father died unexpectedly young and he realised he wanted to know more about his dad. He thought he should interview his mother because he didn't remember much about him. Then all this stuff came pouring out. Glory Hope Mountain is kind of a westernisation of his mother's name, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, and on the front sleeve there's a very saucy picture of a young woman. That's his mother.

It was sent to me from Bella Union as part of my radio programme for Radio 6 Music. I've read a million promo stickers, as I'm sure you have, and they nearly always say fucking "eclectic" right? But the first time I saw this album, I thought this is about something, you know, and I thought it was such a bold step. It transfixed me when I first listened. I loved it so much that I invited The Acorn to tour with us in Europe, and they did. I should have picked an older, uglier band. We got absolutely no attention from women [laughs]. We became really good pals. Just really beautiful people, and an absolutely wonderful record. Just to finish what I was saying about Lullaby, he wrote it from the point of view of his grandma to his infant mother, and the lyrics are astonishing. Casey Mecija provides vocals for it – just such a beautiful voice. But the lyrics are:

"'Cause the sun set down on me
You turn your head and slowly start to breathe
Like the common bonds on carbon, buried deep
I'm the shadow of the long forgotten dream...
And the promises I never got to keep
Though your toes grow colder as you sleep
The blood runs through your heart with every beat…
But I, I will wash over you
I know your heart is true
Little mountain of mine"

It's unbelievable, it is so touching, just beautiful. I challenge anyone with a beating heart not to have it broken with it. The whole album is brilliant.