Huw Costin – Top 10 albums

Huw Costin in barn doorway by Sophie Laslett

With his second album Something / Nothing released this week Nottingham-based singer, songwriter and producer Huw Costin takes us through his top 10 favourite albums.

Loop – A Gilded Eternity

All the Loop records are phenomenal. In my opinion this one is probably the finest. It’s so wild and yet so contained.

Playing live they unleashed an equally shocking power. Once or twice I saw them play with Motorhead. I love Motorhead but Loop ate up their Rock & Roll primal noise and spat it out on a trajectory around the sun. Transcendental.

The Moody Blues – On The Threshold Of A Dream

This is some of the first music I became aware of. The cover used to give me the creeps as did the robot voice introducing side A – thrilling to a child. It’s a cosmic outside-looking-in inside-looking-out take on mundane everyday Midlands existence. The singing is so rich and earnest from all the singers in the band that when it’s coupled with the eerie production and concept (an exploration dreams) it manages to be both whistful and frightening.

Robert Calvert – Freq

I love the spare mechanistic feel of this record, the way Calvert makes a machine sound sad – makes me feel the empathy for a dying factory as if it were a living breathing beast. I love this record as an emotional historical document – it portrays the emotional turbulence behind the politics of an era at it’s turning point. It introduced me to the potency of field recordings too.

Sun Kil Moon – Among The Leaves

Mark Kozelik brings alive people and places that I’ll never know with humour and honesty. I really want to know why Richard Collopy killed himself.

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

I could choose any Sabbath album up to and including Technical Ecstasy, this album has The Wizard on it and it’s one of the few tracks that makes me dance. It’s so groovy! I spent much of my youth trying to play like Geezer Butler – the way he bends those notes, makes the bass moan and groan makes him my favourite bass player. This record is as fresh as the day it was born.

Idiot Son – Lummox

I would have chosen his new one – but it’s on the Idiot’s shelf, not in a record store. Lummox is brilliant too. It’s written and produced by a master of his craft. The resignation and joy in the everyday, in the light and shade across a day is very moving. Summerhouse is especially wonderful I’d love to see Idiot Son soundtrack a Mike Leigh film.

Radical Dance Faction – Borderline Cases

Chris Bowsher’s dystopian chant takes me straight back to the incredible free festivals of the late eighties and early nineties and all the good and bad around them. Sometimes menacing and sometimes resigned – this record shot conscience and perspective through hedonistic times.

Hawkwind – Space Ritual

Touching down on another planet. A planet bursting with life. But Not As We Know It. Not leaving.

Sleaford Mods – Wank

Sleaford Mods have made 5 or 6 brilliant albums. Always amazing – sometimes genius.

Wank is stripped down bass, bad drum machine and Jason Williamson’s poetic, poignant, sarcastic, ranting. It’s political, bold, sometimes frightening, often hilarious.

He captures a seedier, depressing, side of life in Nottingham, and the UK beyond, in a way that no-one else can. It’s cool as fuck too. The man’s a genius.

Arvo Part – Tabula Rasa

The sound of leaves falling through space, of bodies settling, of angels crying.

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Huw’s album Something / Nothing is available now and he has live dates in June:

Fri 21st June London, Forest Gap Hotel ‘Forest Gap’
Sat 22nd June Manchester, Shaw – Playhouse2
Fri 28th June Nottingham – Guitar Bar
Sat 29th June Birmingham – Ort Cafe
Sun 28th July Derbyshire, Longford – Osfest

 

Images by Sophie Laslett.

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