Warmduscher name their favourite soothing albums: “It feels like taking a bath mentally”

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In bleak midwinter, the notion of summer seems like a fallacy. Thanks to the frankly thankless beast of social media, I’m forever seeing pictures of people sunning themselves in the southern hemisphere while I shiver, and my mind can’t comprehend the polarity. The kiss of warmth hasn’t been felt for so long that I gaze upon the photos and figure that a bout of madness has swept over Australia like a pandemic, and soon, their mindless citizens will all succumb to hypothermia. It was one of these unfathomable images of factor 50 frolics that reminded me of a chance summery encounter I enjoyed many moons ago with Warmduscher.

Presently, London’s Victoria Park is dusted with icing of frigid frost, but back in August, in between torrential downpours, it was baked in the sun long enough to wheel out All Points East. Owing to the fact that year after year, this mini-festival undergoes the bygone task of actually curating their line-up rather than throwing out a manic assortment of anyone they can sign up and spread over a daft amount of stages, it has become a staple in the summer diary of many alternative music fans. Its shunning of huge crowds, carefully selected and staged assortment of great bands, aversion to inflated ticket prices, and day-long manageability have set it apart as perhaps the most utopian festival there is.

Warmduscher frontman Clams Baker Jr knows more than a few things about curating a festival. When I bumped into the upbeat bandleader backstage, he reminisced about the party largely responsible for his presence in music. “I put on a party in New York in the 1990s somewhere. It was called Broken Sunshine, and Suicide played,” he recalled. “It was curated alongside Faile and Zevs, a French graffiti artist, and there were so many others coming together.” And it was this notion of art aligning to kick out the jams that made it such a godsend, whisking up a zeitgeist that bred the likes of The Walkmen, The Strokes and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, who were all getting ready to play in the adjacent portacabins.

“When I was in New York at that time, everything was bad,” Clams earnestly continues. Prices and red tape were rising simultaneously, ostensibly shackling the creative scene. “So, we did Broken Sunshine to celebrate people’s inspiration through struggle, to showcase how a lot of great art can come about in that climate.” For all, Warmduscher might now be seen as the sleazy leaders of the current outskirts scene, but beneath the jumpsuit surface and bludgeoning showmanship, this sense of defiance still shines through—far more measured in person than you might expect from their music. Their dedication to partying is designed as a gift to the masses, lubricating the gears of the daily grind for just a moment’s carefree reverie.

With that in mind, the plan had been to gather the band and quiz them on the nine records that have served them like sonic saviours over the years for our Doctor’s Orders feature in conjunction with CALM. Still, with a rabble like Warmduscher, that’s easier said than done, so what followed was a constant flow of album recommendations from the eager band as we chatted and supped warming beers beneath London’s summer sun. I have collated that eclectic beauty for you to behold below and to serve as a distant memory of a summer celebration soon to return. Please try to steal a ray or two of its warming glow vicariously.

And finally, shiver not, because the band will be taking you back to the hotspot imminently with new music on the way. Keep your ear to the ground. But for now, feast upon their soothing recommendations.

Warmduscher’s favourite albums:

The Godfather: The Very Best of James Brown by James Brown and Greatest Hits by Billy Idol

“I always loved James Brown and Billy Idol. Just the greatest hits from both.”

When Was the Last Time by Little Beaver and Party Down by Little Beaver

“Those two albums are sensational. No matter where you are, they just make you feel amazing. I discovered them when I was about 14. Little Beaver is kind of similar to that James Brown vibe, but he’s one of those guys who you never really discover unless you go out there and find him. But once you do discover him, he’ll never go out of your life. He stays there forever.”

I Want You by Marvin Gaye

“Very memorable nostalgia in that for me. I remember that being the first album that my parents actually liked that was a suggestion to me. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, maybe I am getting older, but in a good way.’ I was a sign of my mental development and changing music tastes.”

Winter in America by Gil Scott-Heron

“This is another nostalgic one. I also think it is genuinely soothing music too. If I was stressed out, I could definitely listen to this, and I think it would assist in decompressing. And that’s before you get into all the invention going on.”

Romantic Times by Lewis Baloue

“There’s a record called Romantic Times by Lewis Baloue, which is really creepy. The cover is ridiculous as well. He’s in a white suit, posing in front of a private jet. He makes me feel not alone.”

Work Party by Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five

“This album has the sleaziest underbelly but also the most positive messages. So, when I was a kid convinced that I was struggling in Surbiton, it really made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I could really identify with this New York lifestyle. I grew up in one of the most affluent areas, in one of the most affluent countries on the entire planet, but I was somehow convinced that I was connected to these New York gangsters.”

The Message by Cymande

“Anything this band did was just incredible. Beautiful.”

Quiet Storm by Smokey Robinson

“This is his answer to What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, but it is just so sweet and joyous. It actually defined a whole genre of music in Philadelphia called quiet storm, which was based off that record. It feels like taking a bath mentally. I put it in that sort of sauna territory.”

Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis

“This is a real car ride one. A smooth drive down a road.”

Songs About Fucking by Big Black

“In a weird way, this does actually help me mentally.”

They Say I’m Different by Betty Davis

“Another one in that badass bracket. She’s just a superstar pioneer. I love this crazy stuff.”

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