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Baker's Dozen

Silver Linings: Tamara Lindeman's Baker's Dozen
Zara Hedderman , March 16th, 2022 10:28

From her challenging relationship with Joni Mitchell to the picks from the thriving music community in her native Toronto, The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman takes Zara Hedderman through thirteen albums that shaped her songwriting


Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks

I would say this is my favourite Bob Dylan album. Dylan is obviously very formative. Across his discography I’ve always found so much lyrical inspiration from the complexity of things he talks about and the gaps he can bridge through his songwriting blows my mind. The fact that there are so many Dylan albums that, if you’re in a rut, you can pick one that you haven’t heard and be taken on a journey. He’s a giant of song.

Blood On The Tracks has always been close to my heart because it’s built upon a specific kind of lyric writing not a lot of people do. I tend to reach towards songwriting that toys with meaning and philosophy, but manages to be personal and painful at the same time. This is also the only Dylan record that, while he’s still veering towards fiction, feels like he’s getting closer to the heart. There’s something so painful about it. I also really like More Blood, More Tracks, the expanded LP with different versions of the songs because some of them are better, in my opinion.

I always gravitate to this record when I look for writing that’s emotional and personal. It’s about relationships and love but is ultimately more ambitious than just telling the story. Blood On The Tracks is a record I’ve been extremely influenced by because, essentially, that’s what I’m trying to do with my music.

This record is often taken as his side of his divorce from Sara Lownds. However, Dylan being Dylan he maintains that the songs were inspired by short stories by Chekov. That air of mystique with his music often adds to its magic.

Exactly! I mean, it could be true. I don’t want to project onto Dylan. Whether or not it’s truthful to him, this will always feel like the record that’s the most raw emotional expression from him.

I love most of Dylan’s records because he plays with words like they’re toys. He does that particularly well on Blood on the Tracks which I appreciate a lot because I’m very frightened by words so Dylan is helpful in getting me out of my fear. He uses his words so freely.