Friday Mixtape: Artist Alan Fears sandwiches the good with the crap in his nostalgic playlist

9 March 2018

It is no news that we’re big fans of artist Alan Fears. His creepily funny, music-infused paintings or his voodoo like papier-mâché heads, have made us chuckle time and time again.

The titles of Alan’s works often take the name of 80s pop icons — Depeche Mode, The Human League and Wham are all included — as do the subjects of paintings, taking the shape of Morrissey or other familiar, but not quite so distinguishable bands. Alan’s mixtape picks up on this, curating us a playlist of nostalgic hits, from the classics to the cheesy ones, in a mix which sandwiches the good with the bad.


Alan Fears: Room to Manoeuvre


Alan Fears: Seduced by Reduced Shoes

Why have you picked these songs?

For me, these songs are the ones that never went away, and the ones that meant something to me at different times in my life. On another level, as a mix, I wanted to mangle my taste up and sandwich the good with the crap and see how it works. They make me feel ok.

When or where should this mixtape be listened to?

This mix should be listened to when you are working on something. The songs are not meant to blow your mind, they’re meant to remind you to loosen up and let the junk in. I used to listen to some of these on my paper round, so maybe if you’ve still got a paper round, try that.

Are there certain albums you listen to during the different parts of your creative process? 

It’s boring but true that David Bowie and Prince both deliver every time for me. They both have humour in their work and they both have moments of creative effortlessness. They are also both unafraid to make mistakes or follow something iffy, which is where I am always trying to go. I have a theory that if you embrace your crapness, you will be rewarded with something new.

What records did you listen to when you were a teenager? 

All the wrong stuff. I had many different phases. When I went through a phase, I also did the haircut and clothes too (to the best of my limited ability and budget). The most memorable ones were Michael Jackson, George Michael, INXS, Bros, Huey Lewis, Prince, Queen, and Led Zeppelin. I bought a few Madonna albums, but I didn’t do the clothes.

If a feature film about your life was to be made, what song would be on the trailer and why?

You can call me Al by Paul Simon. It would be a terrible film, but a great trailer.

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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