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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


Isao Tomita – Snowflakes are Dancing

This is a sci-fi thing for me. It fits into the world of Bernard Fevre, Vangelis and Blade Runner. It’s all Debussy done on analogue synths. Some of my favourite tracks are ‘Passepied’, ‘Arabesque No. 1’, ‘Clair de Lune’ of course. I discovered this when I was making Queen of Denmark, when Paul Alexander, the bass player in Midlake, introduced me to it. He played it on his hi-fi system at home. I don’t listen to a lot of classical music unless it’s on solo instruments. Bach for solo piano is great, but I find orchestral stuff very difficult to listen to because the dynamics are so extreme – you have to keep turning it up when it’s quiet and then you have a fucking heart attack when the orchestra comes back in, and you have to turn it back down before you drive off the road. This album is sort of like that – it’s difficult to listen to in the car, especially if anyone else is present because of course people won’t shut up ever. It’s got those dynamics going on, so you really need to listen to it on a good system, preferably on really good headphones. It’s an exquisite piece of art, but I think a lot of people just consider it to be forgettable cheese, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.