Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. Brian EnoAnother Green World

I personally love this album. “I’ll come running to tie your shoe” – I think it’s fantastic.

I feel like I’ve mentioned a lot of British artists. I’m not just trying to placate the English audience! I feel like this is a transitional record, going from pop to ambient or ambient to pop, but it’s unclear where it sits. I love records like that. I love that it was recorded like a jazz record, lots of improvisation with some direction from him. That means that all these voices are speaking at once and he’s just putting it together. “I’ll come running to tie your shoe”… Eno is always good with the arch lyric over melodies that are very emotional. It doesn’t go all the way. It’s what I like about it. It’s hard for me to get into music where there’s a one-to-one correspondence with the emotionality of the lyrics and the melody, it’s too saccharine for me. I love how he puts it together and all the musicians he brought on and he lets them come up for a moment, whether its ‘Over fire island’ with the bassline or Robert Fripp – he lets him go and wail, but then Eno edits it and puts it together. For my album – I had these people improvise on percussion or sax or guitar and I brought it back and pieced it together. I‘ve always felt that this record was the template for me to know that was something you can do. It’s been a hugely influential record for me.

Something I can see from this conversation, is that something you prize musically is that degree of ironic distance between performer and listener, and also something about restraint, that you can only communicate so much through lyric or technicality…

Yeah. I do value restraint a lot, at least for my own creativity, I can get into stuff that’s total blasting away if I’m doing karaoke, but if I’m doing repeated listening I do think that understatedness is something I relate to, for sure.

What is your karaoke song of choice?

I do embarrassing stuff that’s really hard. Karaoke is only fun if you flub it. ‘My Heart Will Go On’ or ‘Through The Fire’ by Chaka Khan is one that I do a lot. Or maybe a Whitney Houston song that has a modulation that you’re not gonna get.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Serafina Steer, Echo & The Bunnymen, Michael Rother, Pastels
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