Imagining the future is something that we all dream of. Often technology is a reference point in all this, suggesting the thought – if we can do this now, imagine what we can do in (insert a number) years? Visions of the future beyond tin foil suits and flying cars, paint either joyously utopian or grim dystopian projections of our once happy green planet. The world has always been dominated by prominent voices, and whether that’s some inane brain fart from Trump or an empassionate plea by Thunberg, everything is only a second away from becoming an endless regurgitated meme.
This new release from the superb Black Truffle Records seems to paint a future that allows every message to remain uninterrupted and pure. No matter how crazy or weird, the audience would be offered a pure slice of the experience. Part of this power is when you add words to music, you make the music about something more than just sound. So, whilst She’s More Wild… by David Behrman, Paul DeMarinis, Fern Friedman, Terri Hanlon and Anne Klingensmith might just be thought of as 11 weird songs, they somehow feel like trailers or adverts for much larger experiences. Despite the fact the album has sat unreleased since 1981, it still feels beyond today. Music that bravely embraced the unknown…
She’s More Wild… showcases a huge variety of back stories to Friedman, Hanlon and Klingensmith’s vocal deliveries. Behrman and DeMarinis provide live electronics, from squidgy synth lines and drones to choirs of processed voices. She’s More Wild… feels like you’re tapping into what Wikipedia articles or WhatsApp messages are current being accessed around your weird neighbourhood. Banal stories, memories, rants, weird pockets of history and fragments of business chat. All focussed on just enough to resemble the surface quality of what a ‘song’ is.
¿Dónde Está the Donner Party? starts off with electronic horses’ hoofs before the wolves’ choir start to howl. The squarely delivered vocals skirt around the strange true story of Midwest wagon trail that famously resorted to cannibalism during a severe winter decades ago. Then, halfway through the song, switches to a conversation that recalls a later day date with someone who claims their grandfather was originally involved. But then, it seems like maybe the guy doesn’t just resemble his ancient grandfather, maybe he’s just not aged since, due to his acts? Surely a pretty wild song that could easily wash over a casual listener and that’s only the opening ditty…
How Many Contracts do I have Linda? is eavesdropping on some contractual conversation a songwriter is having whilst questioning whether or not to just go underground. The story of the Donner Party comes back into view in the twisted cabaret of Cannibal Cowgirl. How Many Fur Coats do I have, Edith? grows out of a weird clipped electronic setting. The voice this time feels like we are reading a letter, words taking on bizarre significances.
“I don’t know what your talking about!!”
Lyric from ‘I Feel Like a Martian’
Things become more textural in the following Archetypal Unitized Seminar which pares the voice with a droning Indian flavoured mist. The plink plonk groove of I Feel Like a Martian invites you to dance around like you’re in one of Bruce Haack’s classes. Japanese Disease playfully loops on the fact both words simply sound similar despite flirting with a weird dark humour. By the time the closer You Pay Rent on your Brain slips and slides into view, the whole skewed universe all makes prefect sense.
She’s More Wild… is a head scratching joy. Music and words together that push much harder and further than many would expect from ‘songs’. Considering that the year it was made, huge swathes of the planet were dancing around to Celebration by Kool and the Gang and Making Your Mind up by Bucks Fizz. However, it’s amusing to think, if things had panned out differently, just maybe we might have been belting out tunes about cannibalism, Martian’s or Japanese diseases under the disco lights…
At least now we get a chance to align with that parallel craziness.
She’s More Wild… is out on March 27 on LP and digitally