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Baker's Dozen

Embedded In The Skull: Colin Stetson's Favourite LPs
Cian Traynor , March 9th, 2017 10:27

As the experimental multi-instrumentalist prepares to release an envelope-pushing solo album and play the Quietus-partnered Big Ears Festival in Tennessee, he takes us through 13 LPs that have shaped the journey so far.


Pixies – Doolittle
Whenever I think about the few albums I consider perfect, I genuinely feel like I'm being objective. I know that's impossible! But for me, Doolittle is one of those. I was listening to it the other day and it struck me that there's no other way to do any of those songs. There's nothing that would make any of it better than it already is. It was captured flawlessly and the band were perfectly realised at that point in their career – everything was just flowing.

I grew up listening to solid classic rock during my earliest years – Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Jethro Tull – which flowed into Prince and Michael Jackson before leading to a strong metal phase in my early teens. But when I was about 15, bands like Pixies and Fugazi came into the picture and changed everything. This represents that stage of my upbringing.

If there's anything I can point to concretely and say that it has influenced me on the new album it's Frank Black's singing on Doolittle: it's the tone, the pacing. He has this way of transcending pitch and conventional rhythm when matching his vocal to the meat of a song. If you step inside of it and see what he's doing and where he's doing it – obviously I'm over-analysing this because he was decidedly not doing that at the time – it's entirely unique.