Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. Talk Talk – Spirit Of Eden

After I made my third album, Too Bright, some people said that some of the changes reminded them of Talk Talk, and I had never heard it. So, because of that, I dug in and I became pretty obsessed with it. I count Mark Hollis as a big influence now, even though it’s pretty recent. It’s genre-less, and he doesn’t have a typical singing voice either, but it captivated me. He wove in and out of even being audible as a human. It would just be an instrument, then it would become clear, and there’s just something so magical about that. It’s so soulful, even though he seemingly sings fairly quietly, which is something I identify with too. I’m always struggling to project. The music is getting louder, but I’m still singing pretty softly, no matter how hard I push it. I responded to that.

Hollis’s songs are influenced by jazz and classical, as it seems are yours. What is it about blending these longer-form art forms with pop and rock that appeals to you?

When an album stays with me the longest is when it takes me a while to truly get it. I want to write songs that people are into immediately, but it’s very smart and mature to make something that maybe people have to unpack over a period of time. I don’t know if I’ve carried that off, but I definitely like that. It stays with me when things are bucking trends or pulling from a bunch of different influences. It’s more instinctual than deliberate. A lot of that music is weirdly him; even though it has a lot of jazzy shit going on, there’s something really minimal and spiritual about it.

I know you mentioned it earlier, but are you religious or spiritual?

I’m spiritual now. I think I’ve got my own made up world that I live in. I’ve always been obsessed with church music and religion, but never felt like they would be very welcoming to me. It all feels like real-life magic. Religion seems to help people practice magic in everyday life, but it never seemed to be my magic. I write to see if I can make my own spiritual thing that’s a little bit more inclusive.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: The Mission
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