My Record Collection - September 14, 2021

My Record Collection by Hamish Hawk
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

My Record Collection by Hamish Hawk

In My Record Collection, we dig down to the bottom of musicians' souls to find out what the most treasured parts of their record collection are. This week, it's the turn of Scottish singer-songwriter Hamish Hawk, let's see what he picks out...

 

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

I bought these three albums on the same day and thought I was pretty cool. To be fair, I was thirteen, so it's not a bad haul considering. Before that, I was strictly limited to my parents' tastes and the occasional Disney cassette. The albums were Franz Ferdinand's self-titled, The Libertines' Up the Bracket and Kings Of Leon's A-ha Shake Heartbreak."

 

The record that made me want to be in a band was…

"It was Pixies' Doolittle. I'm pretty sure I was given this album by my brother, it can't have been much later than 2001. It was the first album I ever listened to that I felt really demanded something of me. There was more at work within it than any album I'd heard previously, and to this day I feel there are parts of it I'm still studying."

"How Pixies managed to forge such a unique path for themselves in the face of the monolith that was grunge is so inspiring. It's such a wonderfully weird record. Pixies were the first band I ever saw live too. Not bad eh?"

 

The record I've played more than any other is…

"Has to be The White Stripes' Elephant. I know this album like the back of my hand, so well in fact my original CD copy is scratched beyond salvation. It started my love affair with all things Jack White III which continues to this day. While UK indie bands were warming up, ironing their skinny jeans and singeing their fringes with their sister's straighteners, Jack and Meg were singlehandedly reviving the blues and forcing the world to take heed. I went to see them in Glasgow in what, 2005, and my ears are still ringing."

 

The record that always makes me feel good is…

"It's Camera Obscura's Let's Get Out of This Country. I adore Camera Obscura and this album never fails to cheer me up. Tracyanne Campbell has one of the finest voices Scottish music has ever seen, with an inimitable turn of phrase. They're my favourite Glasgow band."

 

The record I turn to when I'm feeling down is…

Usually, it's Bob Marley & The Wailers' Rastaman Vibration. If I've had a bad day, can't see the wood for the trees and have lost faith in humanity, Bob Marley is my go-to. When I was a kid my dad used to put on Legend and it would always calm me down."

"I think a lot of parents might have noticed something similar happening with their kids; it's quite difficult to feel tense when there's reggae playing. Rastaman Vibration is the first Bob Marley record I bought for myself, and I subsequently bought every studio album he and the Wailers ever released. I rate him really highly as a lyricist."

 

The record I think is the most underrated of all time is…

"It's either Arcade Fire's Reflektor or Bob Dylan's Shot of Love. The phrase 'of all time' makes this question more than a bit intimidating, so I'm just gonna go with a couple of records I've had on my mind lately. The first is Arcade Fire's fourth studio album, Reflektor. I never seem to hear anyone talk about it, but my keyboardist John and I like to bring it up whenever we can. The production on it is utterly immaculate, with no small thanks to co-producer James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), and, of course, producer Markus Dravs."

"Beyond that, I've long felt that Bob Dylan's religious trilogy gets an undue bad wrap. Shot of Love has more than one of my favourite ever Dylan tracks, and I've heard Bob himself thinks this record never got the attention it deserves. The cover art is dire though."

 

The record with my favourite cover art is…

"Kendrick Lamar's DAMN and Bryan Ferry's Another Time, Another Place. Two album covers that prove you can't beat the combo of great photography and great typography. I can stare at these two all day."

 

 

 

The record with my favourite title is…

"Bill Callahan's Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle. I mean, enough said."

 

The record I can't understand why everybody loves is…

"Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. This is a very dangerous question, with an admittedly dangerous answer. I'm certainly not here to cast aspersions on one of the greatest rock bands the world has ever seen, or call into question their genius, or intentionally slaughter a sacred cow. It's just not my thing. Fleetwood Mac will survive this withering critique, I'm sure."

 

The last record I bought was…

"It was Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever. I bought this on the day it came out. I loved her last album, but I've got to say I think I like this one even more. For Billie Eilish to release an album like this, an album in the truest sense of the word, not merely a collection of singles, in the face of what must be tremendous pressure to do what everyone else wants you to do, is really appealing to me. There's a lot of light and shade, ebbs and flows; it's a really endearing, engaging record."

 

The record I'm most looking forward to hearing in 2021 is…

"I've got two. BADBADNOTGOOD's Talk Memory and Kendrick Lamar's new one. I love BADBADNOTGOOD, especially their album IV, so I've been looking forward to this one for a while. Honourable mention goes to Kendrick Lamar's upcoming album, the title of which has not yet been released. There are apparently a couple of up-and-comers who seem to want to race him to the top spot, but he's got my vote for sure."

 

The greatest record of all time is…

"The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs. I could talk about this record for hours on end, and have done many times in the past, but safe to say it's one of the most endlessly inventive, diverse, dynamic, colourful albums ever recorded, written and produced by NYC's greatest living songwriter. It's an entire universe in miniature. I could not recommend it more highly if I tried. Give it a listen if you haven't already; it's likely you'll be listening to it for the rest of your life."

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