This Album Changed My Life: The Books – The Lemon of Pink (2003)

Northern Irish album of the year 2017 winner Joshua Burnside shares his life-changing listen

One for the books: Joshua Burnside

One for the books: Joshua Burnside

 

I was at university in Manchester when a friend of a friend recommended this album to me. I had been living up to the student stereotype for a while: drinking excessively, experimenting with various substances, and discovering loads of new music. When the party was over, this was one of the few albums that still shone as bright in the sobering light of day. The Lemon of Pink has rapidly changing time-signatures, keys, textures and moods performed on folk instruments with layers of sound-collage and electronica. On paper, it sounds totally inaccessible, but it isn’t.

I began listening to it obsessively, walking around alone all night with my MP3 player. I would get lost in the album and the city’s leafy suburbs, sometimes waking up in unusual places – abandoned lots, golf courses, etc, with the album still on repeat in my earphones as people were heading to work. It is the ultimate escapism, and who knows, maybe it was just what I needed then. The Books didn’t just influence my own style of production but it changed everything about how I thought sound could be organised to make music that is fun, funny, warm, stirring, strange and sad.

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