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Baker's Dozen

Beautiful & Sad: Ben Watt's Favourite Albums
Jude Rogers , January 29th, 2020 09:48

As he releases a new solo record, Ben Watt of Everything But The Girl guides Jude Rogers through his Baker's Dozen, from Frank Ocean to Paul Simon and Bobby Womack to why male music critics were afraid of Joni Mitchell


Gem Club – In Roses
I do this playlist on Spotify [Ben Watt's Spincycle] and I stumbled across Gem Roses while doing it. My daughter was 15, 16 at the time, and she wandered into the room when I was playing this, and she suddenly stopped short. "Dad! This is Gem Club!" And I was all, "Yes! Yes it is." It was a really touching moment – this obscure band from Boston crossing over from a teenager to her old dad. We've always been hesitant about imposing music on the kids. When the girls were about seven, we showed them a video of us on Top of the Pops. They burst into tears. They couldn't cope with it. It was outside their comprehension. To them, we're just mum and dad. 
This record is very tender, beautiful and diaphanous. The music hovers, almost. It reminds me of Anthony and the Johnsons and The Antlers, and Christopher Barnes' voice is beautiful. There's a song about a doomed gay relationship, and you feel this different worldview being exposed to you in this very beautiful way. Gem Club supported me a few years ago, and I loved hearing them live. There's a quiet defiance to them, this outsider melancholy, that's hard to resist.