RECORD COL­LEC­TION: LON­DON GRAM­MAR

From Whit­ney Hous­ton to Deep Pur­ple, the synth-pop trio play an eclec­tic game.

Q (UK) - - Contents -

WHIT­NEY HOUS­TON/VAR­I­OUS THE BODYGUARD: ORIG­I­NAL SOUND­TRACK LP (ARI STA , 1992)

Han­nah Reid (vo­cals): “This is a mas­ter­class in song­writ­ing. They’re all tunes. I never thought I’d be a singer, but in terms of just the en­joy­ment of singing, if you want to find out if you can hit those high notes, this is the best record to do it to. It’s one of the best films ever, too. Kevin Cost­ner is so fit in it.” Dan Roth­man (gui­tarist): “So she’s Whit­ney Hous­ton and he plays her bodyguard? They made a film out of that?!” HR: “It’s so good.” Do­minic “Dot” Ma­jor (key­boards): “[ Sar­cas­ti­cally] Sounds great.”

FLEET­WOOD MAC RU­MOURS (WARNE RS , 1977)

HR: “This is one of our all-time favourites. All the songs come from dif­fer­ent an­gles, but are so strong in their own right. The drama be­hind it is re­ally in­ter­est­ing. It’s like a soap opera. But all al­bums have drama be­hind closed doors, you just never hear about it.” DR: “There’s al­ways go­ing to be a story about the re­la­tion­ships be­tween the peo­ple in the band mak­ing an al­bum, but Fleet­wood Mac were all shag­ging each other so it made it even more com­pli­cated.” HR: “I mean, I have seen you two giv­ing each other the eye…”

CHOPIN THE NOCTURNES (DEUTSCH E GRAM MOPHON, 2016)

DM: “Out of all the al­bums, this is prob­a­bly the only one that is ac­tu­ally life-chang­ing. I know each song note for note. Fun­da­men­tally, Chopin was an amaz­ing melody writer. They’re like pop bangers, but in a clas­si­cal pi­ano form. My pi­ano-play­ing is quite like his. These two are al­ways telling me to be less flow­ery.” HR: “Some­times we’re play­ing the songs like, ‘Alright, this is poppy…’ then Dom will be like, ‘B-lum, b-lip, plink, do do do do…’ But it is beau­ti­ful. I’ve never met any­one who can play Chopin like Dom.”

RED HOT CHILI PEP­PERS CALIFORNICATION (WARNE RS , 1999)

DM: “It’s a bit like Ru­mours in that it was their al­bum full of amaz­ing pop songs. I was into them be­fore this, we had all of the older ones in the house, but it wasn’t un­til this LP that I got into Chad Smith’s drum­ming. After about track 10, they go more into the funk side again, but ear­lier on it’s just pure pop songs. Some bands have this thing where you can just hear the place where they made the mu­sic so strongly – like Sigur Rós or Bon Iver – and Red Hot Chili Pep­pers just sound like Cal­i­for­nia to me. It helps that An­thony Kiedis says the word ‘Cal­i­for­nia’ a lot, yes.”

DEEP PUR­PLE STORMBRINGER (WARNE RS , 1974)

DR: “I love Stormbringer. It’s funky, it’s su­per-proggy, it’s re­ally fun – the gui­tar play­ing is in­sane, all the melodies are in­cred­i­ble. The cover is bril­liant as well. It’s a fuck­ing horse com­ing out of a storm. It’s so un­cool, but at the same time I just love it.” HR: “Didn’t you want to make our al­bum cover one of the most prog things ever?” DR: “It was Earth be­ing held in some­one’s hands.” HR: “Dan wanted to call our band Cof­fee. Let’s talk about that...” DR: “I didn’t think about it!”

RA­DIO­HEAD KID A (PARLOPHONE , 2000)

DM: “For me, as a pro­ducer, Kid A is the thing that has in­flu­enced me the most by far. It’s when they just went ‘Fuck this’ after OK Com­puter. That’s my favourite Ra­dio­head pe­riod – this, Am­ne­siac, In Rain­bows, Hail To The Thief. I love The Bends, and OK Com­puter is ob­vi­ously great, but I don’t love them as much as this. The pro­duc­tion on Kid A – they weren’t even an elec­tronic band at all re­ally, but ev­ery sin­gle pro­ducer try­ing to make elec­tronic mu­sic now still tries to make mu­sic that sounds like Ra­dio­head did 17 years ago.”

DIGABLE PLAN­ETS REACHIN’ (A NEW RE FUTATION OF TI M E AND SPACE) (CAPI­TOL , 1993)

DR: “I went through a phase around the time I met Han­nah of just lis­ten­ing to jazzy hip-hop. I loved all that loose hip-hop col­lec­tive] Na­tive Tongues stuff like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. I down­loaded ev­ery jazzy hip-hop al­bum I could, lis­tened care­fully to all of them, and this was the one that stuck. I ab­so­lutely love this al­bum. There’s a song called La Femme Fe­tal and the lyrics are just in­sane, they’re so good. I’ve not gone back and searched out the sam­ples, I’d love to say I had, but it def­i­nitely in­spired us to use sam­ples in our mu­sic.”

FLEET FOXES FLEET FOXES (BE LLA U N ION , 2008)

DR: “This has got a bit of the me­dieval vibe of Stormbringer. At univer­sity when me and Han­nah first met we lis­tened to this al­bum a lot. I just think it’s the most beau­ti­fully writ­ten, recorded and ar­ranged al­bum. The melodies are per­fect. It’s all per­fect to me. 2011 fol­low-up] Help­less­ness Blues was re­ally avant-garde. Bril­liant, but a bit weird. With the first LP the melodies are more cocky and hooky, and they lost that a lit­tle bit on the sec­ond. It’s in­ter­est­ing how Fa­ther John Misty was in them for this and then left. There must be an in­ter­est­ing story there.”

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