Rubber Bullets

I think it is a little insulting to artists when fans say “Your first record is my favorite!” because it discounts everything they’ve done since. I get it though, that people may be saying that for old skool cred, however. But if I say I think these latest batches of songs by Kristin are the best she’s ever done am I discounting everything leading up to this? I don’t think so, I don’t love that stuff any less. Never could. That’d be like pulling a foundation out from under a house and expecting it to keep standing.

I’m pretty sure I said that when I heard the demos which became Purgatory/Paradise. I don’t like to pick favorites but Kristin just keeps outdoing herself. As if the songs needed to get any better. Blows my mind a little if I think about it too much.

I first heard Rubber Bullets in my car with Kristin as we drove down a windy, dark road away from the studio. I admit I was a bit stunned. I was driving, I had to pay attention to that. But I knew right away that this was one of *those* songs. Those that hit you hard and fast. Krait caliber. Something extra special about it. I think after it ended I said, “That was really good.” Seems trite in text like that, but it was a heartfelt, authentic statement from the depths of my self, that place inside where only the songs can hit.

I really don’t know how to put it in words, how this song feels. This happens a lot. I can never do it justice. I adore the cadence of this song, though. It just feels so *perfect*. The guitar, Kristin’s voice flowing on top of it, both instruments working together. It stuns me often, the interaction of Kristin’s voice with the guitar, like they’re meant to be. Like you can’t have ice without water. I think there’s nothing more beautiful. Sweetness that won’t kill you.

This song makes me cry. Specifically it’s the word “through” that does it. your couch is how the moon slips… throu-ugh… mark me with…” The first time, when “through” is sung slowly. And that riff. It kills me. It’s like I feel all the emotion in the song through that one word and what other choice do I have but to tear up? What else can you do?

Kristin’s been using “life sounds” in these new songs and it’s my favorite thing. The sick trumpet at the beginning of this song. The night bugs in the middle. I adore this, it brings an element of earth to the songs, grounding them here when often I find them to be celestial.

Keep doing that.

This song will always take place in the dark where I first heard it. I feel that calmness I have with her when I hear the song. It has the feel of the beach air at night. Sand beneath your feet. The song happening upon the rocks along the shore. Beach grass flowing in the breeze. It’s perfect and safe here.

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Secret Codes

This is such a cold, crisp, dark clear night song for me. Every time I hear it I’m there, embraced by that crisp breath-mist late winter desolate night. So cold you can smell it. It’s a very alone feeling song, cold and aloneness often go together. You only know secret codes.

You just ache with hope til it goes away.

This is so much truth to this. Learning to live without hope is the hardest thing to do but it makes life so much easier. Hope that someone will notice. Hope that someone will reach out. Hope that things were different. Hope that it didn’t have to suck sometimes. Hope that you weren’t alone, even with a lot of people around you. That’s the staggering part. Hope that you didn’t disappear. But you probably did. The vicious cycle.

But you get rid of that hope that someone will rescue you from your abyss and you find you can win it. You fall back in and try to climb out of this hole many times over, and eventually you can do it and feel the warmth again. And you didn’t need my help at all.

See? When these songs are hard they are filled with inspiration and strength, too.


Listen to Secret Codes and the other new Spark Meet Gasoline songs here: http://www.kristinhersh.com/Releases/spark/

Not likin’ the shit

I think it’s a fair assumption that Kristin doesn’t like the shit between Piety and Desire Streets.

Between Piety & Desire is black comedy in song. It makes me laugh but I’m not always sure it should. The phrasing is just genius, though. And it’s hilarious. “incense, strawberry candles and so-ooap, way to butcher a street”. HA! The way she sings “soap” makes me laugh out loud. That’s funny shit, because she’s right. “you can smell them coming, a torture on the breeze” <– that right there, "a torture on the breeze" – a most genius-ly perfect way to convey a shit smell in the air.

"We're gonna die so what the fuck…" That shouldn't make me laugh, either.

The imagery Kristin puts forth in the first half of the song makes me feel like I'm *in* New Orleans when I’ve never actually been there. Then the shift after "sheer dumb luck", I feel it like a strong puff of air, oof, then it's like there's black smoke coming out from the strings as Kristin plays them, a dark, heavy smoke, that settles down around her feet, slowly reaching out, til suddenly the song ends and it's gone. I feel that smoke under the guitar, it's oppressive and heavy, but not completely so either. I feel a bit up in some of the notes played, with that heavy smoke underneath. The music is conveying some strong feelings as Kristin drills into your head that "we don't like the shit between Piety & Desire". It kinda makes me want to go there.

Detox

Holy crap, I’m LOVING the Badass Sparkly Baritone.

Detox. This song. It slays me. When I first heard it, I gasped at the first tempo change. Then the next. I LOVE it when they start off one way and drastically shift. It’s always best when I hear songs for the first time when I’m alone because I tend to react. My kids laughed at me once when they saw that.

I watch this video in awe, staring at Kristin’s hands and at what they’re doing. I couldn’t imagine being able to play guitar like that. I play like a preschooler in comparison. I’ll say it again, though, I LOVE that sparkly baritone.

I love the rhythmic vocals, Detox’s changes and shifts, its flow and it’s cyclical nature. I love the slight variations in lyric structure/words which is kinda one of those things Kristin’s pretty damn spectacular at. Even just the way she sings the word “chair”. So great, even that one word. This song has every single element of what I truly love about Kristin’s music. I won’t spell those things out here, but every single thing I love about Kristin’s music, song structure, and vocals can be found in these two and a half or so minutes. Just gorgeous. Another big, beautiful, sparkly song.