Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. RadioheadIn Rainbows

Like half of the world I love a lot of Radiohead records, but that is my favourite. I took heart from that record because I think, from talking to Ed O’Brien and just from what is commonly perceived, that was a very difficult record for them to make. It took a long time and there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and a lot of struggle, but the net effect is that it sounds like an effortless record. I think that’s art: when you’re listening to something and it sounds like the easiest thing in the world. As complex and intricate as it is, it has a very warm flow to me, and I take heart and reassurance from that.

Sometimes I work really long and hard for what is seemingly a small gain and all of a sudden there is a breakthrough and Radiohead personify that I think: that greatness comes through application to the task. I think they agonise over a lot of things, and then it results in something that is that good. It defined a point in time for me when we were living in England for a period, so I have a strong connection to it. There was many a night sitting with that on. You have good conversation with it on, and it just seems to fill the space really well.

How large is Radiohead’s influence on your own music?

I wouldn’t say there’s any obvious attempt to emulate, but I enjoy their music so I presume it permeates in some form or another, in their adventurousness and their desire to embrace new technology and electronica – more so than me. I wasn’t exploring the Aphex Twin vein quite as much as them, but I’m always interested in keeping things moving forward and finding new angles.

I do remember Ed saying he really enjoyed the first Finn Brothers album, and that there was a guitar sound from it he had in his mind as he was looking for the right guitar sound for ‘No Surprises’, so I was always very taken with that.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Afrodeutsche, Teju Cole, Charlotte Church
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