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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