“What The Fog Said”
It’s weird: Furniture is not a good group. But they’re really pretentious and they have amazingly titled songs. All the names of their albums, EPs and songs were really good. I think they maybe had poetic, Bohemian ideas of what a group could be, but the records don’t sound that good. You can see why they weren’t famous. It’s just weird choices they made. But I love that song. I think I got really into the organ. It’s not something that shows up on the new record too much, but it’s a really organ driven number and it’s kind of a really romantic song. But they have this English ’80s intellectual vibe – which for better or for worse really shines through in that group.
The Psychedelic Furs
“She Is Mine”
Similar to The Church: An ’80s band that I always kinda liked but wasn’t one you would really be supposed to take seriously. And so I didn’t. It’s weird. But for some reason that guy’s crazy singing style just works for me every time. There is not whole albums I can get into but the best songs on the records – the earlier ones anyway – I like a lot. Again, there is a simplicity to it that appealed to me while making Ken. Destroyer records usually involve me wanting as many sounds as possible to be happening as much as possible – like all the time. But I really wanted to get away from that. “She Is Mine” is pared down in a great way: Simple guitars, simple synth wash. It’s a mellow song. I think that guy is quite good at ballads. He’s really good at being a sad sock.
Just a song I always really loved – even though it’s like a really chintzy shoe-gazer song. Back then, Pale Saints weren’t a popular shoe-gazer band. It also has the really pale, anemic young-British-late-’80s-bands’ funky drummer beat that was really prevalent post-Manchester. It’s just a really simple, wimpy version of the James Brown beat that I was thinking about a lot and maybe trying to employ. To me, back then that song was really perfect. I just liked that it was groovy and in that not groovy in the English shoe-gazey way. (laughs) It’s just so distinct – even if you have no idea what they’re talking about. I have listened to it for years and years – but I can’t tell what the lyrics say. Her voice is literally used like an instrument. It’s the idea that words sound like music – or be more like music itself.
I had a hard time thinking of a specific song, as I wanted to make the list specific. Robert Smith has a distinct singing and guitar playing style. There is a thread that runs through the records of The Cure, but over the course of ten years, it’s really varied. So I decided to go with The Cure in general, because there was songs in each era I would have chosen. It’s weird, by 1989 I pretty much checked out with them and solved it as some kind of teenager music. Now I don’t look down on teenager music in the same way that I did when I was a teenager.
Ken by Destroyer will be released on October 20th via Dead Oceans/Merge Records.