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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


Joni Mitchell – For The Roses
I'm a fan of the album as a concept, but I'm in an album band that never discussed doing anything else and I never sit down and listen to one side on an LP, you know? I'll listen to both sides and that was with me from the beginning. She locked herself away in a cabin with no electricity to make that record. Just her own company and you hear the heartbreak start and end on that record. Genuinely, you know. She really had her heart ripped out and stomped on, and it's so full of love and yearning and adoration and then bitterness and recrimination.

And again, it's just a resonant, beautiful thing and it captures a moment in time. And you know, everything from what I consider to be Joni's only swear in a song, she says in the song: 'Woman Of Heart And Mind': "Drive your bargains/ Push your papers/ Win your medals/ Fuck your strangers/ Don't it leave you on the empty side?" Can you imagine having that levelled at you? Like a machine gun of character assassination, but she says in the same song, "You know the times you impress me most/ Are the times when you don't try/ When you don't even try". It's great – songs, quite often, especially if it's lyric-heavy music, if it relies on the narrative, as Joni's stuff does, the stuff that deals earnestly and honestly with the grey areas, is what knocks me into next week. Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, but of the three she is the best.