Pop Gone Strange, Cities Gone Surreal: Listening to Kim Gordon’s Latest


If you’ve been reading Vol.1 Brooklyn for a while, you’re probably aware that we like Sonic Youth, as well as the music made by many of its members since that band’s breakup a few years ago. Kim Gordon has had one of the most eclectic post-SY careers, releasing a memoir and a collection of writings on art, making music in the duo Body/Head, and continuing to work as a visual artist.

And now, Gordon has released her first music as a solo artist: the song “Murdered Out.” Gordon talked with Maria Sherman at NPR about the song, from the influence of Los Angeles on the lyrics to the details of how the arrangements came together. “It’s probably the most accessible thing,” Gordon says about it in relation to her extensive catalog of work, and that sounds mightily accurate. It’s got some of the same catchy yet unnerving qualities that characterized her old band in the mid-90s: though there are plenty of moments where the earth seems to be shifting, that subterranean unease also makes for a damned catchy song.

Alternately: if your favorite Sonic Youth album was Dirty, this song will certainly hit home. Listening to it, I also found myself flashing back to David Bowie’s “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”–there’s that same tension of wanting to combine the experimental and the catchy by an artist who has the chops to make both work at the same time. All of which is a somewhat roundabout way of saying that Kim Gordon made a terrific song that’s both a reminder of her talents as a songwriter and a progression forward, and that’s a fine thing.

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