When you’re an influential musician, people tend to ask you what you’ve been listening to lately. Here at 5 for 20, we’re just as keen to find out what records loom large in our favourite artists’ memory banks. So, we’re asking folks for their top five records of the last 20 years.
This week we hear from buzzy artist Cold Specks, a.k.a. Ajax, Ontario's Al Spx, a young singer in her early 20s earning comparisons to the likes of Mahalia Jackson and Adele. Spx's new record is I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, which has earned rave reviews. Here she does some raving of her own, selecting five records from the past 20 years that have shaped her artistically.
The Great Annihilator by Swans (1995)
It's a masterpiece from start to finish. It has a great deal of aggression accompanied by moments of serene beauty. It is best to listen to on vinyl when you are alone in the dark.
A River Ain't Too Much to Love by Smog (2005)
He's got one of the best baritone voices I have ever heard. I find his songs to be completely consuming. This particular collection stops me every time.
Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (2004)
A double Bad Seeds record? What more could you ask for?
Mule Variations by Tom Waits (1999)
I could have named a handful of Waits's records. This is just one I've been listening to obsessively again.
Is this it by the Strokes (2001)
I don't care what anyone says, this is a great record. I remember being a 14-year-old kid watching them perform "Take it or Leave it" on Letterman. It blew my little mind away.
Watch Cold Specks play "Winter Solstice" (Hoxton Hall session):
Cold Specks tweets
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Listen to the new Cold Specks track before the hype kicks in
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on May 30, 2012