Foundations: Ian Sweet

Foundations: Ian Sweet

Digging into the creative bedrock of Jilian Medford...

Jilian Medford's potent artistry sits in a lane of its own.

Her work as Ian Sweet has gained critical approval, with debut album 'Shapeshifter' followed by 2018's excellent 'Crush Crusher'.

Now aligned to Polyvinyl, her exceptional new album 'Show Me How You Disappear' is a bravura performance, a series of pointed, groundbreaking, unique songwriting vignettes.

Sitting somewhere between brooding yet poetic indie rock and the home recorded electronics of Panda Bear, say, it's a record that refuses to give up its secrets lightly.

Clash linked with Ian Sweet's Jilian Medford to explore her Foundations - the albums that truly matter.

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Avril Lavigne - 'Let Go'

I asked my mom for a bright blue electric guitar for my birthday because Avril Lavigne played one in her 'sk8er boi' music video. So I think I can safely say the reason I play guitar is because of Avril Lavigne.

I had her posters on my wall, I would wear spike bracelets and fishnet gloves. Avril was my God… even today when I hear and Avril song I know every single word and it transports me right back to growing up and playing guitar in front of the mirror in my bedroom - imaging I was playing for a huge crowd.

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Coldplay - 'Parachutes'

This is my favourite record, favourite band, favourite everything of all time. I have been an unwavering die-hard Coldplay fan forever… no matter how much people would make fun of them. 

Coldplay has a way of writing that hits me very deeply, although their lyrics can be simple and the melodies are simple as well - it just doesn’t try too hard. They are just writing good ass beautiful sad songs.

The first CD I ever rented from the library was 'Parachutes' and I never returned it.

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Bjork - 'Vespertine'

When I lived in New York this album was my subway album. I listened to this inside and out… finding something new with each listen. Whatever you had thought you heard before, you were wrong and now you have to re-learn.

That’s what I love so much about Bjork, she keeps me learning and growing as an artist. She feels very familiar, like her songs were sung to you in a dream and that’s why they feel so special to listen to in waking life.

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Animal Collective - 'Feels'

I had a crush on a boy in Highschool who wore an Animal Collective t-shirt to art class. He was a senior and I was a freshman and I thought he was so cool…but I had no idea who Animal Collective was at the time.

The moment I looked them up and heard the song 'Purple Bottle' I was never the same. That song does things to my body, my brain, my vision… it warps everything and I feel like the embodiment of love. SO CHEESY.

I don’t know how to describe it… I once had a dance party with a couple of friends to that song on loop for an hour, like non stop dancing to one song on loop for an hour. It felt like an exorcism. I could listen to that entire album and dance to it for the rest of my life happily.

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Tirzah - 'Devotion'

Produced by Mica Levi, one of my all time favorite artists and film composers. T

his album is perfection to me. From the GarageBand plug-in guitar effects to the chopped up drums and drudgy vocals and melody. This album was my constant a few summers ago while going through a breakup and it really held me and comforted me a lot.

Tirzah is so effortless. Her songs are total eaworms without even trying. I could sing along to them till the end of my days.

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Ian Sweet's new album 'Show Me How You Disappear' is out now.

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