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Baker's Dozen

Moments In The Sun: Nite Jewel's Favourite Albums
The Quietus , November 24th, 2021 12:07

Nite Jewel takes us through the albums that inspired her latest record No Sun, from Miles Davis to Cluster, via digressions on the importance of bad karaoke and Nietzschean philosophy


The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground And Nico

I can’t believe this was made in 1966. It blows my mind. It was so modern. Lou Reed has the biggest influence on me as a lyricist. Direct, economical, at times very biting wording… somehow heartfelt and humorous at the same time, has always been a blueprint for me. The songs are well-constructed, I love the variety of the types of songs, they’re very built on American pop music which has the references to jazz which is super solid, for me but I think its the lyricism.

Why is Lou reed so cool? Is it a laconic quality, which comes up on lots of the albums you’ve picked?

I don’t know why he’s so cool. But part of him isn’t cool though! ‘Heroin’ is the nerdiest song about drugs that’s ever been made! I think that there’s this earnestness to him, as well. He’s approachable, you know, that’s what makes it so great, you can imagine being near him. Even in interviews he’s not so far away. He’s accessible and human on some level and that’s what I like about him. He, you know, has this relatability not only as a person but as an artist, I can imagine talking to him about music and lyrics.

That’s so interesting that you would describe him as ‘earnest’. So he’s the person who gets a little bit of leeway over that ironic distance, perhaps?

I think it’s because his craft is so solid, he’s so good at what he does. He’s allowed a little bit of neediness, in ‘Heroin’. You look back and he wasn’t even doing that many drugs! At a time when everyone was completely catatonic, and here he is, coming at it from an outside view, writing a song about it, it’s almost like he’s a good student. That’s what I mean by earnestness. He turned that scene into a piece of art. I guess I relate to it because of the scene in LA. there was a lot of, you know, dark shit going on when I first started out here, and people weren’t making songs about it. You have to be a little bit of a good student to make songs about a scene like that. And Lou Reed is one of those people.