This has been a big few weeks for Kristin Hersh, founding member of Throwing Muses. Described as ‘an indie legend’ by NME, in a very short time span, she has released her band’s new 50FOOTWAVE ‘Bath White’ EP, played with the Violent Femmes in New York, and now a crowdfunding drive has kicked off to support the publication of ‘Nerve Endings’, a book featuring selected lyrics from across her career as a musician and songwriter.
Kristin founded the art-punk band Throwing Muses in Newport, Rhode Island in 1981. Between the Muses, her solo work, and her three-pieced 50FOOTWAVE, she has released more than 20 albums, and is also the author of an acclaimed memoir.
Released via Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, ‘Bath White’ is the sixth mini-album since 50FOOTWAVE formed in 2004 and their first release since ‘With Love From The Men’s Room’ in 2012. Once again, they dish up addictive power chords, sublime hard rock riffs and complex structures that fuel raw emotion.
Packing an album’s worth of ideas into six songs, ‘Bath White’ is loud and highly dynamic, with change-ups and massive drive, delivering some of the band’s most powerful material to date. Best known for his work with Godsmack, this EP was produced by Los Angeles producer Mudrock.
Comprised of Kristin Hersh and Bernard Georges of Throwing Muses, and mammoth drummer Rob Ahlers, this power trio is known for pioneering the name-your-own-price movement, which began with their 2005 release “Free Music”. Named after the lowest note audible to human ears, 50FOOTWAVE was intended as an outlet for the noise/math rock pieces that didn’t fit the aesthetic of Throwing Muses or Kristin Hersh’s solo work.
50FOOTWAVE’s early releases are free for download and licensed for sharing via Creative Commons through Kristin’s non-profit Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders (CASH Music), founded by Kristin in 2007. Over the past few years, CASH has been completely funding Kristin’s own output, as well as powering dozens of other artist and label projects, growing into a widely-recognized powerhouse of technical tools that enable commerce, communication, and sustainability for artists.
The ‘Nerve Endings’ book is the first ever collection of Hersh’s lyrics. It will be personally selected by Kristin herself and published through Unbound. The rewards on offer as part of the crowdfunding include handwritten lyrics and the chance to intend an intimate, private gig in London with only 25 pairs of tickets available.
“Lyrics always came to me as phonetic melody; a sort of percussion infused with memory. If verb is a verb, then I ‘verbed,’ in other words. The idea of separating them from the maelstrom of music never occurred to me until Unbound suggested it. I’m very curious to see what I’ve been murmuring and yelling all these years,” explains Kristin Hersh.
Unbound Associate Editor Scott Pack says: “I have been a fan of Kristin’s since I was as teenager — since we were both teenagers, in fact — and if my teenage-self knew that one day I’d be publishing a book of Kristin’s lyrics he’d be bouncing around the bedroom in much the same way as he used to do when listening to her songs She is an absolutely legend and this is going to be a beautiful book that her fans will love.”
For more information on the book and available pledge levels, visit the project page at Unbound: https://unbound.co.uk/books/Kristin-Hersh. The ‘Bath White’ EP is available on CD or vinyl or as a digital download via Bandcamp https://50footwave.bandcamp.com/album/bath-white.