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Baker's Dozen

Angel On My Shoulder: Serafina Steer’s Baker’s Dozen
Stephanie Phillips , January 26th, 2022 14:38

From a song so good she almost forgot her shopping, to the iconoclastic brilliance of Alice Coltrane, Bas Jan’s Serafina Steer guides Stephanie Phillips through thirteen songs and albums that have inspired her


Cocteau Twins – Treasure

I listened to this first when I was living in a house in Clapton with a bunch of friends, one of them was Ben Polhill who plays drums in one of the later bands on the list. I'd never heard them. I feel like I came to music kind of late in a weird way, considering I did music from a young age. I feel like it was at about 17 that I cottoned on to that there was a whole other world of music that I might actually be interested in. But yeah, I didn't hear Cocteau Twins until I was at least 26. And again, it one of those like, ‘oh, wow, what is this?’ It's just so beautiful, and got no idea what she's singing or doing, it feels completely unique. It is like a treasure.

It’s a bit shimmery that record. I love that it seems more like interpretive vocals from her, that feels really unique. I've got some friends that can improvise like that in different ways. Some people can just come up with words. Some people work that way in the studio and I can't and I have so much admiration for that skill. It seems like crazy.

It’s stayed with me over the years because of the freeness of the vocals. I really love the arrangements and everything and the sound world, but this feeling that she might be improvising or both the vocals and the music are sort of pushing each other on.