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?
Al Lewis: 22, A Million – Bon Iver
What’s the last great album you listened to?
Al Lewis: The Film Hits of Ennio Morricone
Are there any classic albums that you only recently heard for the first time?
Al Lewis: So – Peter Gabriel
Describe your ideal listening experience (when, where, what, how).
Al Lewis: Sunday morning, sitting on a comfy armchair, with a great cup of coffee.
What’s your favourite album no one else has heard of?
Al Lewis: I Need to Start a Garden – Haley Heynderickx
What album should everybody get into before the age of 21?
Al Lewis: Rubber Soul – The Beatles
Which artists — musicians, singers, songwriters, producers — working today do you admire most?
Al Lewis: Aaron Dessner (The National), Laura Marling, Taylor Swift, Blake Mills, Bon Iver
Do you have any comfort albums?
Al Lewis: Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Do you think any “canonical” albums are widely misunderstood?
Al Lewis: Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys: who knows what Brian Wilson was really thinking…
What’s the best album you’ve received as a gift?
Lewis: Raising Sand – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
What album do you recommend to people most often?
Lewis: Tango in the Night – Fleetwood Mac
How do you organize your records?
Lewis: Chronologically by date bought.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned about an album recently?
Lewis: 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?
Lewis: 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?
Lewis: Cello Concerto in B minor – Antonín Dvořák
Is there any album in your record collection you desperately wish you’d made?
Lewis: Revolver – The Beatles
Have you ever changed your opinion of an album based on information about the artist, or anything else?
Lewis: 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?
Lewis: 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?
Lewis: 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?
Lewis: Still don’t love Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks as much as I supposedly should….!
Any upcoming albums you’re really looking forward to?
Lewis: The Ascension – Sufjan Stevens
Al Lewis’ latest album, Te yn y Grug, is available now.
Recommended for you:
Legendary Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph answers our ‘Joy of Decks’ Q&A, and reveals his passions, listening habits, and love for Bruce Springsteen.