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Baker's Dozen

Survival Songs: John Grant's Baker's Dozen
Barnaby Smith , September 8th, 2021 09:05

John Grant takes tQ through the 13 albums that have defined his life and guided him through tough times, from the beauty of Fad Gadget to the joy of Bernard Fevre, via Ennio Morricone, Kate Bush and more


Colder – Heat

I just think he’s one of the greatest things since sliced bread, in modern music. This was something I showed to everybody I met, and nobody knew what it was. This was another late-in-life friend. After loving him for 15 years, he came to the studio in Cornwall where I was making Boy From Michigan, and we got to hang out. He’s really cool, a card-carrying badass. He does incredible sampling work and the grooves on this album make it a modern classic. He sounds like he’s about to commit suicide and sings on one note in every song, and it’s still incredible. It’s incredibly apathetic singing, like a bored person singing, or barely singing. A bored hipster. And it’s absolutely beautiful.

If this doesn’t get released on vinyl there’ll be trouble, and I need to get in touch with him about that. I’ll fucking make it happen if I have to. This came out in 2005, and then the next one didn’t come out until 2015, and then a couple came out quickly. He had this explosion, and it’s all good. But I was like a dog with a bone after Heat, I kept checking every month, every week to see if there was something new. And I gave up – it had been 10 fucking years for crying out loud, and I could be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to happen.

Someone came up to me after I had been DJing at Rough Trade East in London and said, “I was really delighted to hear you play Colder, and he’s actually a friend of mine. Shall I put you guys in touch?” This was great because I thought he was a ghost. So he came to the studio. We hardly used anything he did because it just didn’t work out; it just wasn’t the right time. But I would love to do something with him, and we’re still in touch. I’m going to try and get him to come to Iceland because now I have a fully-fledged studio.