Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

6. The Thompson TwinsInto the Gap

I recently realised that I was leaving the Thompson Twins out of my list of influences because I subconsciously felt they were embarrassing. But I listened to a lot of Thompson Twins. Into the Gap was my favourite when I was 12 or 13. When I go back and revisit those records, some of it sounds a little dated, but actually they hold up really well. I feel like the songwriting of the Thompson Twins is one of the overlooked treasures of the 80s. It’s really, really good. There are songs that tend towards the cheesy side, like ‘Doctor Doctor’, but if you listen to the deep songs on those records, the songwriting is fantastic. The lyrics are really, really good.

That’s what was on repeat when I was just starting to write songs. The ages 12 through 17 were when I felt I was completely defined by music, completely engulfed by it. You rarely saw me without a set of headphones on because I was trying to block out the rest of the world. Which is funny now – the only time nowadays I put a set of headphones on is to listen to mixes. I don’t ever, ever wear an iPod. I barely even listen to music, which is no joke. But back then I was soaking up music like a sponge.

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