3 for Thursday: Kristin Hersh

Today, I was reading an interview with musician, Kristin Hersh, of the Throwing Muses, marking the 20th anniversary of her first solo album, ‘Hips and Makers’ and, apart from the shock of realising my day-dream of youth was 20 years ago, it brought back memories of the music I was listening to, at that time.

I’ve been a fan of her writing and music since the early 90’s, attracted to the poetic intensity of the lyrics and the rawness of delivery. Hersh is a fascinating woman, who has described music as “a kind of possession“, triggered by a serious head injury as a teenager. She was diagnosed as schizophrenic and later with bipolar disorder. Her music is both gift and curse; her honesty about this conflict is compelling and courageous.

The interview, and links to tracks from the ‘Hips and Makers’ album, set me off on a search for the music I was listening to around 1994 and, this in turn sparked another idea – 3 for Thursday. Each Thursday, I’ll share 3 things / ideas / poems / images that are on my mind that day, as a way of checking in with where my head’s at. Maybe it will spark some writing ideas too.

Today, it’s 3 songs with a Kristin Hersh connection – ‘Your Ghost’, a duet with Michael Stipe of REM, from the ‘Hips and Makers’ album; ‘Song to the Siren’ by This Mortal Coil, fellow recording artists on the 4AD label in the 1990’s, and ‘Bright Yellow Gun’ from Throwing Muses’ 1995 album, ‘University’.

“I think last night
you were driving circles around me.”

“Well I’m as puzzled as the newborn child
I’m as riddled as the tide”

“I have nothing to offer but confusion
And the circus in my head, and the middle of the bed
In the middle of the night”

If you’re interested in discovering what other songs on my 1990’s playlist, check out the Facebook page!


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