Having released second solo album Red Kite earlier this year, Saint Etienne frontwoman Sarah Cracknell is currently touring. Ahead of her show, with support from Jane Weaver, at Cadogan Hall in London on Saturday (28 November), the singer has made Q this playlist featuring the songs that helped to make her record fly...
The City – I Wasn’t Born To Follow "Carol King is one of the most amazing singer songwriters ever. I Wasn’t Born To Follow is one of my particular favourites, performed with her group The City during the late sixties. I love the simple, lazy West Coast sound to this, it was recorded whilst she lived in Laurel Canyon. You can feel the sunshine warm your skin."
Bobby Gentry – Courtyard "Carwyn Ellis, who produced my album, introduced me to this song when we were putting together a kind of mood board for the record. I was already a fan of hers but didn’t know this simple, haunting song. Beautiful."
Colorama – Dere Mewn "Colorama is Carwyn’s own group, I love his playing and production so much I asked if I could borrow both for my own record! This is a particular favourite. A welsh language song with melody that warms the cockles of your heart."
Kiki Dee – Amoureuse "I’ve been a Kiki Dee fan for as long as I can remember. This song really builds! It takes you on a journey and has one of the best choruses ever. It had a big impact on me as a kid."
Luca Nieri – Hummingbird I heard this on the ’Music From The Dark Branches’ album that came out earlier this year. Luca sings like an angel and I fell in love with this on first listen. It fits really well with the style of my own record - so much so that we played it just before we came on stage at my shows during the summer.
Cocteau Twins – Lorelei "Ethereal is the key word when discussing the Cocteau Twins. Elizabeth Fraser has been a massive influence on me over the years, I also love the fact that she makes up her own – invented – words to sing. Someone should publish the Elizabeth Fraser Dictionary!"
Ennio Morricone – Mondo Morricone "It’s very difficult to pick out one song from his amazing catalogue. The Mondo Morricone album is a favourite of mine, it works as a whole. An album of soundtrack music he wrote for Italian soft porn and horror films in the early 70s. Full of pop, bossa and fuzz guitars."
Dusty Springfield – Goin’ Back Another Carol King song - this time co written with her then husband Gerry Goffin. The arrangement on this version has always floored me - Dusty delivers the song in such an understated way. Why am I so drawn to sad songs?
Sandy Denny – Who Knows Where The Time Goes "I love the lyrics in this song, the opening line 'Across the purple sky, all the birds are leaving' really sets a scene. In so few words you have a sense of time and season, and a feeling of melancholy. Clever stuff."
Cat’s Eyes – The Duke Of Burgundy "More film soundtrack music. I actually only heard this after my album was finished but I love the mood and there are definitely similarities. I’ve always written in a kind of cinematic way, I use lyrics to create imaginary characters in different scenarios. I’m much less likely to be autobiographical but have been more so on Red Kite."
For more head to Saintetienne.com