The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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.


Prince – Sign O' The Times
Whenever I'm in a Prince mood, I always come back to this. Certain songs, like 'The Ballad of Dorothy Parker', seem so bizarre when you think about their production. There's a starkness and immediacy to it all: that feathery, almost-not-there bass or the barely amplified strings. It's got so much imagery that the album has a theatrical quality – which Prince achieved with everything, really – because he creates not only characters but entire scenes and spaces for them to inhabit. That's always been huge for me.

All This I Do For Glory is the first record of mine where I've done all the production work myself, from the engineering to the mixing, so I was really trying to go to school, as it were, with all the great production minds that I've sat with over the years. And Prince is among the best of the best.

Double albums can be quite patchy at times. One of the things I love about your music is the cohesion. But in this case, don't you find that something like 'It's a Beautiful Night' takes you out of the album a little bit?

[laughs] It really just depends on who the 'you' is in that sentence and what it is you're doing, or not doing, while listening. I've certainly had the experience with that record where I've been taken out by specific things. But a lot of records that I love do that at certain moments. I've still maintained as strong a connection to it from top to bottom. I think it's just a matter of the moment.