Selecting her most influential LPs…

Cold Specks is the performance name of Al Spx, a Canadian singer with an affecting line in spooked alt-pop. ‘I Predict A Graceful Explosion’ was her debut LP of 2012, long-listed for that year’s Polaris Prize, and this summer she issued her second studio collection, ‘Neuroplasticity’, featuring Swans’ Michael Gira.

Here, Spx selects five influential albums for Clash’s Foundations series – records that shaped her into the musician she is today. Short and sweet, as befits a woman of few words beyond her songs – which do all the talking she generally needs to.

Cold Specks, ‘Absisto’, from ‘Neuroplasticity’

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PJ Harvey – ‘White Chalk’ (2007)

“I think this is record is bewitchingly bleak. I was so captivated when I first heard this. I dove right in and immersed myself into the songs for weeks. With every part of me, I love it.”

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Silver Apples – ‘Silver Apples’ (1968)

“Whenever I remember that this record was made in 1968, my mind is blown into a million little pieces. It is an incredibly inventive collection of songs. This is definitely a tour van favourite.”

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Doris Duke – ‘I’m A Loser’ (1969)

“Released in 1969, this album was produced by Swamp Dogg. It was completely disregarded at the time of its release. Which is a crying shame because ‘I Don't Care Anymore’ is one of the greatest soul songs I have ever come across. Also, the album title and cover are just f*cking brilliant.”

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The Jesus And Mary Chain – ‘Darklands’ (1987)

“I got into this record in high school. I desperately wanted to form a band shortly afterwards, which never worked out because I didn’t know anyone. We play this one on the road all the time. It’s a strong collection of pop songs and one of the few albums I can play over, over and over again.”

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Kate Bush – ‘The Dreaming’ (1982)

“This is another hugely underrated record.  A courageous, complex, stunning record. There aren’t many words for this one. All I can say is that I highly recommend diving right in.”

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Photo: Steve Gullick

Cold Specks’ ‘Neuroplasticity’ album is out now on Mute. She plays London’s Village Underground on September 30th, details here. Full live dates, for the UK and further afield, can be found on her website

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