An Evening with Kristin Hersh
Wed 27 Sep 2023
7.30pm – Doors
8pm – First set
8.45pm – Interval
9pm – Second set
“A fearless rock innovator” – New York Times
Kristin Hersh’s new album, Clear Pond Road, is a cinematic road trip; a series of personal vignettes from a fiercely independent auteur, sitting plush with layers of all-consuming strings and mellotron. It’s a watershed moment in a career overflowing with creative firsts and inspirational thinking; an elegant piece of personal reportage, a home movie caught in time.
Previously, the juxtaposition of light and dark has been essential to the drama of Throwing Muses and 50FOOTWAVE, but this solo set is something of a departure; more inward looking, quieter but outspoken, underpinned by background noise for ambience and awkwardness.
“Passion sounds less angry, more grateful, I think,” Kristin muses, “sweeter, sadder. And somehow, no less alive… over car engines and rain in New England and whistling ducks and wind chimes in New Orleans, it all sounds wistful to me.”
Clear Pond Road is a life-affirming statement, a further part of the jigsaw, a very personal memoir, from street signs to snapshots; a late blossoming and coming-of-age from a true icon of independence. The record is both intimate yet expansive, written largely within the confines of Hersh’s home, making the proceedings ever more personal.
Referencing the album’s artwork, Kristin elaborates “The street sign on the cover is one my youngest son and I found at a junk shop, we took it everywhere with us and now it watches over us in our kitchen, reminding us not to get too damaged, too fuzzy.”
It feels like a soundtrack, painting pictures with lyrics and melodies, sweeping right across the screen. Kristin affirms, “I did notice a cinematic quality, as if each song is a scene in a play. Which means it has a sad ending, which means it’s a tragedy.” The songs are like staccato commentaries, short cuts from a long reaching narrative.
“Her songs have always been both confessional and formally challenging; they expose her, but also evade us, throwing down clues and scurrying into dark thickets before revealing anything more.” – NPR
“Kristin Hersh’s tough, instinctive wail, has been one of the greatest sounds in American underground rock for decades.” – Stereogum
“Few artists understand the intensity of living one’s art like Hersh” – The Guardian
Listen on Spotify: