Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. NicoDesertshore

I got this record from my dad as a birthday gift, but before that I had heard it via my sister. My sister presented this record to me when I was 16 or 17 and then I got it from my dad in my 20s. It was nice to get again from him as I had forgotten how good it was. I remember listening to it a lot when I was 16, but I wasn’t mesmerised in the way I was when I heard it when older.

Nico is probably one of the most influential songwriters for me, when it comes to vocal delivery. She is very brave in the way that she uses her voice and, of course, I am very impressed by the depth of her voice. It is raw, honest, and very authentic. It doesn’t feel like she is putting on a costume and I believe in every single word she is singing. I think it takes a very musical person to deliver such honesty in such complex pop songs. Even though there is complexity to this album, it still feels quite accessible. In addition, there is a very intriguing ambience to this record with lots of interesting sounds. I think it was co-produced by John Cale.

Nico is without doubt one of my most important role models, alongside Diamanda Galás. Diamanda Galás isn’t on this list because I prefer her in a live format than I do on record. With Nico, I love how she delivers her lyrics and I like the rawness in her. She seemed to be a very uncompromising person.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Jim White, Gwenno, Xiu Xiu, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Alasdair Roberts, Luke Haines
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