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Baker's Dozen

Musical Memoir: Kathleen Hanna's Favourite Albums
Milene Larsson , August 10th, 2016 09:12

Following the release of The Julie Ruin's new album, Hit Reset, last month, the musician, activist and founding member of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre talks Milene Larsson through 13 favourite records that changed her life


Carole King – Tapestry
I listened to that record non-stop, it was a record that was in my house when I was really small and I knew the whole thing back and forward by the time I was six years old, as that's one of the many times we moved. I remember listening to the song 'So Far Away' in our station wagon as it pulled away from my neighbourhood and waving goodbye to my best friend. Throughout my life I've had a different favourite song on that record for a different reason and it sort of stayed with me. When I was a karaoke host, one of the first songs I did was 'I Feel The Earth Move'. I think her story is so interesting, too, of starting out as a songwriter and not feeling confident and then deciding to put out her own songs with her own voice. That was a really empowering story when I finally learnt it. I just thought she was this cool, powerful '70s woman with her curly hair and swirly skirts. I found her fascinating as a person as well, like a role model. She played piano, sang and wrote the songs, and everyone knew that, it was really implicit at the time, that it was her album. A lot of singers, male and female, were singing songs written by other people and Carole King had been writing songs for those people, then this album was like, "I'm writing it for myself." I didn't know she wrote 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?' until I heard her sing it and her version was so different than the popular version that I'd heard and I was like, "Wow!" It was a great album in the vein of Thriller – every song on that record could be a hit. And it was like she made it; I knew a woman made it from start to finish and I knew I could write songs. It was something that everybody had that was very popular that actually still holds water and it's really good.