Sound it Out # 60: Throwing Muses - “slippershell” (free MP3)
Throwing Muses haven’t released new music in ten years, though singer/songwriter Kristin Hersh has not been idle. Hersh has various solo and collaborative musical projects, released an excellent memoir called Rat Girl in 2010, and co-founded CASH Music, a non-profit that supplies open-source tools to musicians.
You might know Throwing Muses from the 1980s and 90s, when, as high-schoolers, they were the first American band signed to the British label 4AD. Even then, their appeal was in what I think of as their “swirl” - their songs throw you into the batty, mercurial, hyper-creative world of Kristin Hersh’s brain, and being there is at once pleasurable and terrifying.
Purgatory/Paradise is a the new 32(!)-song album from Throwing Muses, which is also available as gorgeous, interactive art book with CD on December 3. Drummer Dave Narcizo did the visual art, and Hersh’s lyrics and stories would make it a compelling read even without the music. In typical Hersh fashion, the stories behind the songs are equal parts enlightening and disorienting.
The song “slippershell” is a great introduction to the new Throwing Muses project - it’s funny, bombastic and visceral all at once. Download it for free below. .
Annoying song stuck in your head? This BrainCraft video explains that listening to it from beginning to end may free you from its burden. It’s a technique based on the Zeigarnik effect, the tendency we have to remember things which are uncompleted. To try it yourself, listen to this first:
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