Song of the Day: Kristin Hersh - Soma Gone Slapstick

Song of the Day
12/13/2016
Geran Landen
Kristin Hersh at KEXP in 2016 // photo by Niffer Calderwood (view set)

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Soma Gone Slapstick” by Kristin Hersh from her 2016 album, Wyatt at the Coyote Palace, on Omnibus Press.

Kristin Hersh - Soma Gone Slapstick (MP3)Whether in Throwing Muses, 50FootWave or her solo work, Kristin Hersh's music has always been as genuine as it is fierce. And while that duality has always been a good thing for Hersh's fans, the same could not always be said for herself. It is well documented that her songwriting originally stemmed from a manic bi-polar personality known as Rat Girl. Rat Girl would bring the songs to Hersh who served as a vessel for the music, often at great expense to Hersh. However, the dissociative nature of her music's origins or the pain it sometimes brought did nothing to depersonalize it. Instead it has always been intensely personal, using wit and melody to touch others to an effect that only few others can match. This was the first sign that Hersh did not need Rat Girl or her mental illness to create her music, as it was always deeply connected to her self. Now Rat Girl and her illness have been subdued, and it is clear that Kristin Hersh owes none of her success to either one. Her newest solo album Wyatt At The Coyote Palace, which was named for the time her son spent at a building inhabited by wild canines near her studio, stands testament to that, as it is packed with songs that hold their own against anything from Hersh's expansive catalog. Album cut and today's featured song "Soma Gone Slapstick" is one said example, displaying Hersh's sharper-then-ever wit over bare acoustic guitar. It is sparse but missing nothing, flashing a subdued ferocity that only Hersh could manage.

Unfortunately, you probably just missed Kristin Hersh when she was in Seattle just two weeks ago. She's currently finishing up part of a tour with a few dates remaining in the Northeast. Look for future tour dates in on her website and Facebook. For now, check out her literary work, including her 2016 book, Wyatt At The Coyote Palace, and watch the music video for "Soma Gone Slapstick" below:

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