Lloyd Cole tells us about what he’s listening to during COVID-19 lockdown
We've been asking artists what they've been listening to while stuck at home during the coronavirus, and this one comes from alt-rock great Lloyd Cole. who has been writing thoughtful, witty and heartfelt pop since '80s classics with The Commotions like "Perfect Skin" and "Lost Weekend," right on through to last year's terrific Guesswork.
"Even before this thing hit, I resolved to try to listen to some new music," Lloyd tells us of the wide-ranging quarantine playlist he's given us. "Not necessarily new to the world, but new to me. I can go years without feeling inclined to listen. Sometimes because I'm working on my own stuff, or in recovery from working on my own stuff, but other times I just prefer silence. I don't often put music on in the background, because music is what I do, music takes my ear, takes my attention, even if I don't want it to. So if I'm writing or reading - silence. I have to make an effort to not fall into a silent torpor."
Lloyd continues: "I had a big tour booked for this late Winter and Spring so I downloaded or ripped 2000 pieces of music to my Laptop and charged up my 160 GB Vintage iPod. I don't do music on my phone. I'm an Apple slave, but not to their music system. I use Swinsian on my Laptop, which is like iTunes before the BS. It's a little extra work -- OK quite a lot --but at least it doesn't make me angry. Genius? I think not."
"So I'm working my way through. Some of it is new music, some I missed when it was released. Some that I've liked for years but never got around to paying for. If I don't pay for music I like, I can't very well ask others to, can I?"
Lloyd's list includes tracks from Mos Def, Scritti Politti, Lana Del Rey, Khruangbin, Bill Callahan, Joan As Police Woman, William Tyler, Check out Lloyd's quarantine playlist, and his album Guesswork, below:
LLOYD COLE - WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Santigold - "Disparate Youth"
My friend Dave Bates, my old A&R man before he got retired, which got me retired from major label life... he makes a playlist every year of his favourite music and sends CDs to his friends. He's still got an immense appetite for the new. The best song that I almost certainly would NEVER have heard if not for Dave is this one. Really, maybe the best pop music, along with Robyn and Chris, of the last 10 or 15 years.
I'm on a forum that discusses, how should I put it, Left Field Music? (llllllll.co/ if you're interested.) There are various threads discussing what we're listening to. Here are a few tracks I found there....
Roots Manuva - "Hard Bastards"
Brilliant lyrics, lovely presentation of them, too.
Mos Def - "Quiet Dog"
From the Hip Hop thread I found an amazing You Tube video of Mos Def on The Letterman show, Google it. It's amazing. Maybe even better than the record, but thanks to Dave Bates finding me a CD in the UK (how is the CD out of print in the USA FFS?) I have The Ecstatic. This track is fantastic. Simmer down, simmer down.
Visible Cloaks - "Screen"
In my spare time, I make electronic music. Very rarely do I hear other artists who sound like they think like I do. Very rarely do I hear something and think - I wish I'd done that. I love Robyn, but I don't want to be Robyn. Anyhow, these guys - Visible Cloaks, I'm kind of jealous of them.
Scritti Politti - "No Fine Lines"
I missed White Bread Black Beer when it came out but that was just a few years ago, right? OMG it was 2006. Life really does start to speed up as we age. It's lovely. As a synth nerd I'm loving the old school DX7 style pure FM tones on this. And Green's voice... as Miles Davies used to say, apparently, "Green, you're the man."
Lana Del Rey - "Norman Fucking Rockwell"
I did read The Guardian's List of best music of last year and I took a few punts. Maybe 50/50 success, in terms of me agreeing... I love this, not the whole album, which is up and down, but the title track is sublime.
Khruangbin - "People Everywhere (Still Alive)"
Neil Clark from the Commotions was touring with me last year and played a track by these guys which I liked and then promptly forgot. Then my son William sent me this, and I bought two albums both of which have their moments, but this is the peak.
Bill Callahan - "Ballad of the Hulk"
Some days I think Bill is brilliant, other days he annoys me. Bill makes me think of Berman. I can't bring myself to listen to the Purple Mountains record yet. David let me hear a few pieces as he was working on it. We had become email pals. There was a hilarious rhyme involving Australia. More time needs to pass.
William Tyler - "Highway Anxiety"
I have a friend, Adam, who works at Merge records. He sends me stuff from time to time, he knows I love Destroyer and that Lambchop FLOTUS album. It's thanks to him that I know this. It's beautiful and quite odd, almost like Eno went to Nashville.
Valgeir Sigurðsson - "Plainsong"
Another artist I know of thanks to a Finestkind from way back. Valgeir Sigurðsson, from Iceland. His first album featured Bonnie Prince Billy singing beautifully on a few tracks. This is more recent, no singing.
Lightbath - "This place rings of colour"
Also found at llllllll.co/. I seem to enjoy everything I hear by Lightbath.
Joan as Police Woman - "Eternal Flame"
Tim Burgess from The Charlatans seems like the world's nicest man, and also the world's most energetic man. He's been organising these live Twitter listening parties. I did one with Neil last week, for Rattlesnakes. It was actually fun and a whole lot of people who had never heard it have now done so. He did one for Joan's debut Real Life, so I joined in as a fan. I love Joan. Everybody that hears her does. I've heard this track hundreds of times and it's still SO exciting. [PS Joan's got a new album on the way. - Ed]
La Dusseldorf - "Rheinita"
I thought I knew all the good Krautrock. Apparently not. I'm embarrassed to say I can't recall who gave me this CD - Deutsche Elektronische Musik 1. I put it aside, and then ripped when I has the aforementioned OCD week.
Childish Gambino - "Redbone"
I kind of want to hear that new Childish Gambino record, but I think I should wait until I get through this stuff. Everyone loves Donald. Quite right.
Aldous Harding - "The Barrel"
I saw the video for this song. It's odd in a very good way. I'm not sure I like the whole Designer album, but this track is great.
I like spare. Let's end with a few spare pieces....
Hoan Kiem Chess Team - "Empty Promises"
Kilchhofer - "Aska"
Jonathan Fitoussi and Clemens Hourriere - "Petits Pas"
Here's a Spotify playlist version with almost every song:
Listen to Lloyd Cole's 2019 album, Guesswork: