The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

A Stellular Selection: Rose Dougall's Favourite Albums
Jeremy Allen , March 1st, 2017 11:32

As she prepares to tour new album Stellular, Rose Dougall guides Jeremy Allen through her favourite 13 records, from dub reggae to folk and the otherworldly pop of Broadcast


David Axelrod - Songs of Innocence
The interview took place shortly before Axelrod died in February.

It's a brilliant record and exists in its own space completely. It's such an anomaly within that whole canon, combining jazz and choirs and orchestra and R&B and all those things. It's similar to Serge Gainsbourg in that sense - that expansive, cinematic thing. Really, I've never heard anything quite like it. There are members of the Wrecking Crew on it, and he apparently produced the whole thing in a week which I find extraordinary. There are references to Blake, and I think it might have been one of the first psyche records that led me into all that stuff as well. It's just so sophisticated musically. You can never get bored of it. There's always something new to find.

I remember I put it on when I was recording with Mark [Ronson], and the Dap Kings guys - especially Homer Steinweiss who plays drums - was so blown away because he'd never heard anything like it. The beats are like hip hop beats, and I think actually, something got ushered in with that record that Axelrod hasn't been given full credit for, pulling all these influences together and making it sound whole rather than a load of awkward relationships cobbled together.

I love the grand ambition; it's overblown and there are almost slightly pompous moments, but it's not apologetic for any of it. As soon as it gets too pompous then there's an Electric Prunes-y style guitar solo that brings it all back down to earth again. It keeps going up and down like that, which is really clever. To me it's just the most sophisticated thing ever.