So I’ve been listening to Kristin Hersh / Throwing Muses for 21 years now. It’s been a long journey for everyone, and I’ll admit I haven’t bought anything of hers for a while now. I still follow her on Twitter though; and it was here I learnt of her new album, Crooked.
It’s a book, a beautiful little hardback book with a code inside to download the album itself.
The object-collector inside of me, the one I’ve tried to suppress in the last few years as the sheer weight of all our material possessions have started to oppress me, awoke. Kristin in her Twitter feed linked to a British Amazon-variant selling Crooked with free international postage; the object was paid for and duly arrived last week.
It is lovely.
As befitting the velvet flower photos inside, the thing even smells nice. And unlike all my CDs, which are destined to be moved into a box in the ceiling shortly, this book will remain in the bookshelf for repeat viewing.
What’s also really nice about all this is the exploration of new and different ways to distribute music. In a post-CD era, how can an artist accrue more income? Kristin has been exploring ways to directly connect with her fans for about a decade now, long before “social media” was invented, all in a low key way that looks like it has created a sustainable income for her family. I like what she’s doing, a lot.
And the music: it’s good. All the instruments played by the artist; the songs have an angular beauty that on repeated listens is digging deeper inside my head.
Here’s a video for the title track of the album, a glorious rolling rhythmic track; Kristin’s voice older now, whether richer through experience or weary with it I’m not always sure.
And in keeping with the ethos of the artist, the video is credited to her boys. How wonderful is that?
At the moment though, the song that is most snagged in my head is Flooding, an incredibly haunting song of breakup and loss. I’ve embedded a down-sampled version here (all tracks are Creative Commons licensed, which means I can share this here without fear of RIAA attack-dogs):
Somehow along the way this purchase has become participation, and that actually makes me feel pretty good.