Kristin Hersh - Hips And Makers - Cassette tape featuring Michael Stipe on Sire Records

Kristin Hersh – Hips And Makers – Cassette tape featuring Michael Stipe on Sire Records

 

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Kristin Hersh – Hips And Makers – Cassette

Kristin Hersh dug into her backlog of compositions for material of an intensely personal nature that she felt wouldn’t be suitable for her band on her solo debut, Hips and Makers. In stark contrast to her work with Throwing Muses, Hips and Makers is almost entirely acoustic. Hersh embellishes her waifish voice and acoustic guitar with touches of cello and piano on this album, which offers a despairing and introspective tone that fails to submerge her considerable inner strength and fortitude. Recorded in a mere two weeks, this collection of haunting and confessional songs was produced by ex-Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, who has also produced Suzanne Vega. Hersh’s voice and lyrical tone, however, are considerably more brittle and coarser than Vega’s. The opening track, “Your Ghost,” features a duet with R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe.

Song List
1. Your Ghost – (with Michael Stipe)

2. Beestung
3. Teeth
4. Sundrops
5. Sparky
6. Houdini Blues
7. Loon, A
8. Velvet Days
9. Close Your Eyes
10. Me And My Charms
11. Tuesday Night
12. Letter, The
13. Lurch
14. Cuckoo, The
15. Hips And Makers

HIPS AND MAKERS is the first solo outing from Kristen Hersh, frontwoman and singer-songwriter of Throwing Muses, the seminal ’80s alt-rock group. Whereas Muses records prove that Hersh can imbue her dark, singular vision with enough edgy sonic aggression to garner underground kudos, this disc explores her softer, more lyrical tendencies. The album is wholly acoustic, augmented throughout with bass, guitar overdubs, and tasteful string arrangements. Such instrumentation perfectly suits Hersh’s web-like song structures and her gift for aching melodicism.As one expects from Hersh, the album is anything but soothing. Poetic, often highly metaphorical lyrics voiced in eerie refrains float through angular, spiraling chord progressions. “Your Ghost,” a duet with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, is a masterpiece of haunted love that lingers in the listener’s brain like a dream. Such songs as “Sundrops” and “Me And My Charms” are charged with a fearful intensity, revealing the fine line between rage and deep emotional pain. Part of Hersh’s appeal is her ability to convey both despair and beauty. “Velvet Days,” a love poem to her child and one of Hersh’s loveliest songs, is a shining example of the latter. HIPS AND MAKERS is a fierce, moving, and beautiful collection of songs by a wonderful and often overlooked artist.

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