ONE of the most unexpectedly delightful records of the year is the new LP by psychedelic Brit Robyn Hitchcock. The former Soft Boy has been moving in a more romantic and understated direction lately, but the album — produced by Joe Boyd, known for his work with Britfolk gods and R.E.M. — took me by surprise. It’s a low-key acoustic collection of half original material and half covers, including the Furs’ The Ghost in You and Roxy Music’s To Turn You On, stripped of their ’80s meringue.
He spoke to me mostly about the album, his creative process, and other musicians he admires. But also said this when describing the huge numbers of musicians — of every generation — all competing for the same attention in a shrinking field:
It’s like the stateroom scene at “A Night at the Opera” by the Marx Brothers. More and more waiters coming and going. “Who ordered the eggs?”, you know? So it’s definitely harder in that respect. You’re certainly not going to be nourished by a record company while you develop your career or keep to being a niche artist because you’re cool.
Here is my interview with Mr. Hitchcock.