With their latest album The Line Is A Curve reaching new heights of commercial success, I was lucky to get some time on the phone with Kae Tempest to chat about the pivotal songs in their life for The Line of Best Fit. I discovered that the two qualities Kae values most in their fellow musicians are staggering lyricism and (perceived) artistic integrity. Like me, they are intensely drawn to words but, of course, only one of us is a published novelist, poet, essayist and playwright...
“When listening to music, my ear always goes to the lyrics first. I hear the melody, I hear the beat, I hear the musicality and the harmonies, but I’m listening most deeply to the lyrics.” – K.T.
‣ 'Shadowboxin’ by GZA ft. Method Man
‣ 'I Can’t Write Left-Handed' (Live at Carnegie Hall) by Bill Withers
‣ 'Redemption Day' by Johnny Cash
‣ 'By His Deeds' by VC
‣ 'Conception' by Black Thought & Salaam Remi ft. Reek Ruffin
‣ 'Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)' by Jay Electronica
‣ 'Gatekeeper' by ESKA
‣ 'God Is Alive Magic Is Afoot' by Buffy Sainte-Marie
‣ 'Who Is It' by Björk