Reviews

Kristin Hersh


Kristin Hersh

 

On her current U.S. tour, indie music heroine Kristin Hersh has been playing up and down the U.S. West Coast, as well as Midwest just ahead of the September 27 reissue of the remastered edition of her seminal album ‘Crooked’. Best known for her influential art-punk band Throwing Muses and power trio 50FOOTWAVE, this tour sees her performing as a hard-hitting electric trio, along with Fred Abong, Throwing Muses’ bassist during the ‘Real Ramona’ period, and Rob Ahlers, who is drummer in 50FOOTWAVE.

Throwing Muses gained traction in the early ‘80s, playing with bands like The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. They also just played four exclusive shows, including the Pasadena Daydream Festival, curated by Robert Smith.

Hersh is touring in support of her highly acclaimed album ‘Possible Dust Clouds’, released via Fire Records, as well as the remastered reissue of her eighth solo album ‘Crooked’, out September 27. Released on orange vinyl for Record Store Day 2019, the album now be released on black vinyl and CD. Hersh will also play other material spanning her rich career.

Kristin Hersh’s solo career spun off in 1994 with the widely acclaimed ‘Hips and Makers’, featuring ‘Your Ghost’, a duet with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Kristin has since released a steady stream of distinct solo albums with 2010’s ‘Crooked’ the first release in the inventive book/CD format she is now known for.  

In addition to a series of intense mini-albums with 50FOOTWAVE, Kristin’s writing has also flourished with the highly acclaimed ‘Rat Girl’(‘Paradoxical Undressing’ in the UK) and the award winning ‘Don’t Suck, Don’t Die’ on her long friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt.

Kristin Hersh’s astounding career has crowned her queen of the alternative release. Her tenth studio album ‘Possible Dust Clouds’ is a highly personalized sociopathic gem delivered as a futuristic rewriting of how music works – a melodious breeze with a tail wind of venomous din.

A turbulent cracker with riot grrl swagger, this album is Hersh’s first new material since 2016, when she released her critically-acclaimed double album-book combo ‘Wyatt at the Coyote Palace’. In contrast to that LP, which saw Hersh record over several years, playing all the instruments on these songs over many years, this album involves numerous friends.

Enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept ‘dark sunshine’, she created this brooding solo, expanding her off-kilter sonic vision. Produced by Hersh herself, this album was mixed and mastered by Steve Rizzo with contributions by Fred Abong on bass, Chris Brady (Pond) on vocals and bass, and drums by Throwing Muses’ David Narcizo, Rob Ahlers and Kristin’s son, Wyatt True. The result is a squally and heady mix of discordant beauty.

About this album, Hersh says, “I wanted a chaotic sound, one that mimicked the feel of live shows. Live recordings are usually just recordings that suck, so you have to parse the elements of a show: group high and loud noise plus movement, in order to bring that about. I invited a few friends whose playing is very muscular so that I could warp timing and tuning in the high and low overdubs around our performances. Weak playing would sound ineffective with this treatment but here it sounds noisy and fluid”.

Touring allows listeners an experience that the BBC calls Hersh’s “dark and dizzy world”.
 Fred Abong also opens each show with an acoustic set in support of his latest ‘Pulsing’ EP, alternately described as “ragged Replacements” and “Elliott Smith with balls”.

‘Possible Dust Clouds’ is available now online everywhere and on vinyl via Fire Records‘Crooked’, can also be ordered now. Ticket info and sales links for all shows can be found at www.kristinhersh.com/appearances.

TRACK LIST
1.  LAX
2.  No Shade In Shadow
3.  Half Way Home
4.  Fox Point
5.  Lethe
6.  Loud Mouth
7.  Gin
8.  Tulum
9.  Breathe In
10. Lady Godiva

TOUR DATES
Sept 20  Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
Sept 21 Indy, IN – Holler on the Hill Fest
Sept 22  Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
Sept 25  Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
Sept 26  Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
Sept 29  San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
Nov 08  Leek, UK – Foxlowe Arts Centre
Nov 10  London, UK – The Jazz Cafe
Nov 12  Hebden Bridge, UK – The Trades Club

Kristin Hersh – Crooked

Kristin Hersh – Possible Dust Clouds teaser

Kristin Hersh – LAX

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Artist location – California

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