Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

10. PJ HarveyWhite Chalk

Not the most celebrated of PJ Harvey albums?

A lot of people thought White Chalk was a transitional album. But with PJ Harvey you have to consider the whole as a body of work. To do this album, at this time in her career, was a very bold move, because she moved more into introversion, away from the commercial stuff. She could’ve continued with her rocky stuff, but this was something she had to do. This showed so much courage.

This is an album dealing with dark, folk music themes – it is a little reminiscent of the kind of music you created when you covered Brecht and Weill…

Well, Kurt Weill is not folk, but he has the same darkness. For me, this was the beginning of pop music, when he worked with Bertholt Brecht on The Threepenny Opera. It was a bit avant-garde, but it wasn’t bel canto ["fine song"].It was using people from the street, singing about hookers and murderers and thieves. It was political but with a twisted kind of presentation, with dissonance – ‘you think everything is shiny, but it’s not’.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: John Parish, Pete Wareham
PreviousNext Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today