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Baker's Dozen

In Place: Yann Tiersen's Favourite Albums
Fred Bowler , November 2nd, 2016 09:56

With his ninth album, EUSA, out now, the French composer and multi-instrumentalist takes Fred Jage-Bowler from the Velvets to Bill Callahan via NEU!, Vashti Bunyan and Joanna Newsom on a tour of his favourite records

Yann Tiersen has trailed many paths, as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, as a composer for film scores and as a musical collaborator with such varied artists as the Tindersticks' Stuart A. Staples and acclaimed ondes Martenot player Christine Ott. This year, he released EUSA, featuring melodies as evocative and cinematic as those found in his best work. The Quietus' Julian Marszalek said the record, a solo piano meditation on Tiersen's home island of Ushant, off the Brittany coast, "acts as an aural snapshot of one man's vision of security and peace".

Judging from Tiersen's often romantically-tinged "modern classical" compositions, it might come as a bit of a surprise that he is a devout fan Can and NEU!. His affection for krautrock has, in fact, spurred the inception of a side project, the Elektronische Staubband ('staub' is German for dust) and, picking his favourite 13 albums, he cites no less than Einstürzende Neubauten as teaching him how to work with sounds. His selection draws almost entirely from the pantheon of left-field pop and rock greats (Steve Reich is the notable exception). Why? His shrugging is almost audible down the phone line: "It's really simple. I grew up with this music. It's my culture. I didn't have any access to other music. I spent my teenage years listening to this kind of music, it's as simple as that."

EUSA is out now on Mute. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Yann's choices, which run in no particular order