Welsh singer-songwriter Al Lewis has recently released his eighth studio album, Te yn y Grug. In this instalment of ‘The Joy of Decks’, he reveals his listening habits and favourite albums.
What record is on your turntable right now?
22, A Million – Bon Iver
What’s the last great album you listened to?
The Film Hits of Ennio Morricone
Are there any classic albums that you only recently heard for the first time?
So – Peter Gabriel
Describe your ideal listening experience (when, where, what, how).
Sunday morning, sitting on a comfy armchair, with a great cup of coffee.
What’s your favourite album no one else has heard of?
I Need to Start a Garden – Haley Heynderickx
What album should everybody get into before the age of 21?
Rubber Soul – The Beatles
Which artists — musicians, singers, songwriters, producers — working today do you admire most?
Aaron Dessner (The National), Laura Marling, Taylor Swift, Blake Mills, Bon Iver
Do you have any comfort albums?
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Do you think any “canonical” albums are widely misunderstood?
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys: who knows what Brian Wilson was really thinking…
What’s the best album you’ve received as a gift?
Raising Sand – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
What album do you recommend to people most often?
Tango in the Night – Fleetwood Mac
How do you organize your records?
Chronologically by date bought.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned about an album recently?
There is a sample of Stevie Nicks on the Bon Iver album 22, A Million
Which genres do you especially enjoy listening to? And which do you avoid?
Folk/pop/jazz – I don’t avoid anything as long as it’s good!
What album might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
Cello Concerto in B minor – Antonín Dvořák
Is there any album in your record collection you desperately wish you’d made?
Revolver – The Beatles
Have you ever changed your opinion of an album based on information about the artist, or anything else?
It took me ages to “get” Bruce Springsteen, then I heard the album Darkness On the Edge Town and everything changed.
How have your listening tastes changed over time?
I care more about lyrics than I used to as a kid, when it was always about melody.
You’re organizing a party. Which three artists, dead or alive, do you invite?
Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What album did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t?
Still don’t love Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks as much as I supposedly should….!
Any upcoming albums you’re really looking forward to?
The Ascension – Sufjan Stevens
Al Lewis’ latest album, Te yn y Grug, is available now.