UNCUT - - New Albums - In­Ter­VIeW: JIM WIrTH

Fix­ing the world with gruff Rhys This is a record of quite in­ti­mate songs with a huge or­ches­tral back­ing: can you ex­plain?

My last three records have been bi­o­graph­i­cal about other peo­ple, whereas this al­bum is about what’s go­ing on in my daily life. I am a fan of or­ches­tral pop records and it was an ex­per­i­ment for me – I’ve never used a full sym­phony or­ches­tra be­fore. There are records where I think it works well: Serge Gains­bourg records, Lee Ha­zle­wood pro­duc­tions, even Cur­tis May­field records.

Ba­bels­berg is bleak at times; do you de­spair of the mod­ern world?

It’s not nec­es­sar­ily crit­i­cal. It was recorded at a par­tic­u­larly wor­ry­ing time for ev­ery­one, I think – a time of po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty and para­noia. “Selfies In The Sun­set” is that idea of tak­ing pho­tos of the apoc­a­lypse – they’d prob­a­bly look quite beau­ti­ful with the or­ange skies – so I think there’s some space left for hope there. A good song to play just be­fore the apoc­a­lypse? Maybe some­thing pa­thetic like “The Fi­nal Count­down” by Europe – you could make a big deal of it with a count­down and some fire­works.

You have three wishes to fix the world: what do you do?

Num­ber one, we should all wake up, fully. Num­ber two, have a cof­fee, then num­ber three, sort ev­ery­thing out.

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