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Baker's Dozen

As Good As It Gets: How To Dress Well's Favourite Albums
Lottie Brazier , November 9th, 2016 11:05

With his fourth album, Care, released earlier this year and a UK tour imminent, Tom Krell picks his top 13 LPs and tells Lottie Brazier why "the true value of bubbly pop music consists in its relationship with desperation"


Arthur Russell – World Of Echo
There's no question he's an absolute legend— without him not only is there quite obviously no Caribou and no Blood Orange, but all of independent music would be different. This album is so beautiful and intimate and textured and just fucking inventive – still no one to this day has done anything as weird as 'The Name Of The Next Song'! I would do anything to be a fly on the wall at the kitchen with him and Rhys Chatham. 'The Name Of The Next Song' is a really cool song, though quite hard to explain why. I started doing this stuff in my own music subconsciously… Then I listened back to Arthur Russell and was like, "Holy shit!" I listened back to it and I realised what I had been doing all over my own record – I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it's like the song is aware of itself. And so on 'Salt Song', for instance (though it happens a lot), I'm singing… But in the process of singing it's as if the singer hears the content and has to change what they're saying – to figure out something new. And that Arthur Russell song is amazing because it's written from this extremely meta position. I don't understand why it didn't happen as much in songs as it did in other art forms. Everywhere else in art in the '60s and '70s and '80s the frame got revealed; everyone was painting the phenomenon of painting. Showing that frame and having to reckon with the process of the creation in the work. But the cool thing about how Arthur Russell does it, as opposed to a lot of modern art and why he is a pop god, is because he does it in this completely free and naive and unpretentious way.