John Southworth – the Canadian based singer/songwriter – has been releasing records for over twenty years. But it wasn’t until 2014’s double LP, Niagra – which won Rolling Stone Germany’s album of of the year – that his music gained recognition on this side of the Atlantic.
On 3rd May, Southworth releases his twelfth album, Miracle in the Night, through Coventry based label, Tin Angel Records. And if Dylan’s latest ‘jazz trilogy’ ticked your boxes, there’s every chance Southworth’s new works could be the hazy soundtrack of your summer.
In preparation for Miracle in the Night’s release, we caught up with Southworth to find out what’s been providing his inspiration of late. These are his Sound & Vision selections:
THREE ALBUMS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME:
Anne Sofie von Otter – 3 poems of Mallarme by Ravel (from La Bonne Chanson 1994) – Most of the time I want to hear music that doesn’t remind me in any way of the brute obviousness of the world. This one has been good for that lately.
Justin Haynes – Virtuoso (2016): This is a masterful solo guitar record – one of many released by Justin; an extraordinary musician who played guitar for me for many years and tragically passed a few weeks ago. The title is a sly play on Joe Pass’ album of the same name… I think.
Vinicius de Moraes and Baden Powell (1966): feels like fur forming on fruit at night
A BOOK THAT I TREASURE:
Brothers Karasmov by Fyodor Dostoesvsky: I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a book as magical, or that captures every facet of life. Winter was the right time to read it. It made me feel that we’ve gone backwards, and that crucial layers of reality have been abandoned.
A FILM THAT I REGULARLY RETURN TO:
Silent Light by Carlos Reygadas: I saw it ten years ago and it’s still in the back of my mind. It’s in a similar boat as Karasmov. Full of peak vision. The great Canadian writer, Miriam Toews, plays a Mexican Mennonite. It has the greatest ending.
A SONG THAT I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:
Gene Pitney – Town Without Pity: I’ve always gravitated towards leper songs like this that risk humiliation in the name of bold expression. When I hear it, I know I am in the right. I see the line drawn in the sand and I know which side I’m on.