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Baker's Dozen

Summer 13: Malcolm Middleton's Favourite Albums
Nicola Meighan , July 13th, 2016 08:42

Following the release of his sixth album, Summer Of '13, and before Arab Strap play their anniversary gigs later this year, the musician talks Nicola Meighan through the records that have had the biggest effect on him


Grimes – Art Angels
This is pretty shallow, but I think I was put off listening to this at first because there was so much hype about Grimes, and it wasn't targeted at me. It was targeted at young, cool, arty folk. But then I heard 'Oblivion' [from 2012's Visions] and it was the opposite of what I was expecting. It's quite patchy and quirky. It's not perfect. I liked that. And then I heard 'Flesh Without Blood' from Art Angels, which I loved. It's a bit like the Marina album – I keep noticing more songs. I only just noticed 'Belly Of The Beat' and it is fucking amazing. It's short and snappy, it's got a whole Madonna album's worth of hooks and choruses. I think Madonna's been a big influence. A lot of the vocals sound kind of similar.

The titles and lyrics seem impenetrable to me. I don't really know what she's talking about. I find that quite poetic – I like not knowing. The song 'REALiTi' is the one I've been listening to most this week. Why didn't I notice it the first time?

I'm still finding new things in this record, even though – and I sound like my gran here – it's music for young folk. It's so busy. There's so much going on, and sometimes the vocals can get annoying if they get too high pitched, but the more you listen to it, the more the actual song becomes apparent. It's like one of those magic eye pictures where you have to find the skyscraper. It's a magic ear record.