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Baker's Dozen

Driving Home: Anika’s Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , July 21st, 2021 08:53

In this week’s Baker’s Dozen, Anika guides Stephanie Phillips through the records that made her, from the power of Grace Jones, Courtney Love and PJ Harvey, to the soothing effects of Goldie and Guru


David Bowie – Blackstar

I was a bit late getting into it actually because it was his last one, and then suddenly there was a lot of hype around his death. It was one of those – I was almost nervous because I had some of these other albums and I wasn't so keen on the Heathen era. It was somehow a bit too close to home. I think it was too connected to that time and place, sometimes you need a little bit of time and distance. Someone gave it to me in Mexico City, when I was recording with Exploded View. I was living in the north part, far from where we were recording, so it was like an hour bus journey every day. I would listen to this album every day on the bus. The same one every day. It was just my way to get through because it was about the same length as the bus journey.

What stood out was how honest it was. It was such a personal album about the place he was in at the time. The narratives were so laid bare. It just keeps accumulating meaning as time passes. Every time you revisit it, it becomes a bit more 3D. It's one of those albums that if you listen to it on headphones, it really gets into your brain.

I think it did inspire me. I mean, I was listening to it every day before recording the first Exploded View album so I'm sure it did. These things go into your brain and David Bowie was one of the first musicians I had really spent time with when I was really young. We didn't have MTV or anything, but I remember we had this shared computer in the family house, and someone bought this CD encyclopaedia. I used it to cheat on my homework, but there were a few hidden things in there like music videos from artists, and one of them was David Bowie. There was the video for ‘Changes’ in it. I remember finding it and being like, ‘wow this is just crazy.’