CMU Playlists

Playlist: Yann Tiersen

By | Published on Thursday 6 October 2011

Yann Tiersen

Musician and composer Yann Tiersen began his varied career in 1995 with the release of debut album ‘La Valse Des Monstres’, gaining wider renown when he was commissioned by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet to create the soundtrack to his 2001 film ‘Amelie’. His fifth LP, ‘Les Retrouvailles’, featured guest singers including Jane Birkin and The Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser.

As of live album ‘On Tour’, Yann’s work took on a markedly more post-rock tone, transforming traditionally orchestral pieces with electric guitars and a theremin. Last year’s acclaimed ‘Dust Lane’ and its successor, new LP ‘Skyline’, prove a natural extension of that musical shift, grounding plumes of vintage synth distortion in Yann’s well-established musicianship and compositional flair.

He says this of unifying the new LP’s more disparate elements: “My plan was also to play with contrast, between electric and quite dense parts, and more sober and minimal quiet parts, including piano and strings. So, voices join together in chorus, arcing violins and crashing drums build towards mighty fanfares – but then, clouds part, squall recedes to silence, and mournful piano and strings guide you home”.

With ‘Skyline’ due out via Mute on 17 Oct, Yann will begin his UK tour on 20 Oct with a headline slot at London’s Roundhouse. In the meantime, he agreed to organise some all-time aural favourites into a Powers Of Ten Playlist.

Click here to listen to Yann’s playlist in Spotify or listen via multiple sources on Tomahawk, and then read on to find out more about his choices.

01 Neu! – Hallogallo
I become more and more obsessed with Neu! each year. I spent most of the time on the ‘Dust Lane’ tour listening to Neu! albums, normally every night before going to sleep.

02 My Bloody Valentine – To Here Knows When
I like these clouds of guitars so much. Strangely, I find the album ‘Loveless’ perfect to listen while making love.

03 Elliott Smith – Between The Bars
‘Either Or’ may be my favourite Elliott Smith album, and I think ‘Between The Bars’ is one of the precious pearls in Smith’s songwriting.

04 Silver Apple – Oscillations
It’s almost unbelievable to imagine these two guys messing around with oscillators and drums in 1967!

05 Kraftwerk – Neon Licht
‘Man Machine’ is my favourite Kraftwerk album. Being a huge fan of German music I always prefer listening to the German version of the record.

06 The Go Betweens – Street Of My Town
I don’t understand why The Go Betweens are so underrated. They are one of the best 80s bands – why The Cure and the Smiths and not them? This is such a great song.

07 Thurston Moore – Benediction
Sonic Youth were my favourite band when I was a teenager, it’s because of them I decided to make my own music. I love them. The new Thurston Moore album is beautiful and perfectly shows off just how great a songwriter he is.

08 Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
This song is like a classic to me, and this album was like a revelation when it came out. I’m so proud to be part of the ATP event curated by Jeff Mangum [this coming December].

09 Low – Death Of A Salesman
This is one song that gives the impression it’s always been there, and will forever continue to be there. It’s so rare. Low are an amazing band and I still have the same excitement each time I see them live.

10 Suicide – Frankie Teardrop
The perfect song to on put if you want to see some undesirable guys leave your house quickly.