MP3 Debut: New Larkin Grimm

 

 

“Paradise
and So Many Colors” comes from forthcoming album Soul Retrieval.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Avant-songstress Larkin Grimm is prepping her fourth
longplayer for a Feb. 7 release. Titled Soul
Retrieval,
helmed by legendary producer Tony Visconti and to be released on
the delightfully-named Bad Bitch label, it’s already yielded an advance single
by way of “Paradise and So Many Colors.” Very honored
to be able to present it to ya right here at BLURT as a free pre-Christmas
goodie:

 

 


01ParadiseandSoManyColors by Howlin’ Wuelf Media

 

 

Without further delay, then, while you spin the tune, we’ll
let Grimm take over the narrative and outline the origins of the new record as
well as explain some of the biological, geographical and cultural imperatives
that inform her as a music-maker:

 

 

Larkin Grimm: “It began in a Moroccan hamam in cloudy Belgium. Muslim
women came in from the cold, covered from head to toe in hijab, the curtains
hiding the beauty of their bodies, the veil separating man from God.  I
watched as they removed layer after layer, until naked they sang in the steamy
room, washing one another and singing a song for a girl who was preparing her
body for marriage.  I was reminded of the poems of Hafiz and Rumi, poems
about secret gardens and transcendent thoughts.  Love poems to God, like
the Songs of Solomon in the Bible.  Mysterious puzzles like the Zen koans
of Japan.
 These women were absolutely magical.  Then they finished bathing,
and wrapped themselves up in layers of black cloth until they were invisible to
the cold world outside.  Then they disappeared.

 

 

“I play music that grows out of the Appalachian folk
tradition of my father.  This music is a form of storytelling.  I am
young, but I was born before the internet, before Google and Wikipedia made all
knowledge accessible at my fingertips.  In that time, there was a thing
called World Music.  There were individual cultures making the music of
their villages, their people, all separate, all around the world.  My
father played the fiddle in the American South, in an idealistic commune
isolated from all the rest, and that was all I knew.

 

 

“My story is a tragedy of broken ideals.  The hippie
commune that I lived in was infiltrated by C.I.A. disguised as Russian Orthodox
monks and it was destroyed from the inside amidst rumors of pedophilia and cult
behavior.  I struggled to find community for the rest of my life.  I
got into Yale, one of America’s
best schools, but found that it was rotten on the inside, an academic
playground for the country’s rich and powerful.  I railed against them.
 I protested, got gassed and shot by rubber bullets in Quebec
City, clung to trees in the Northwest, and looked for death in Alaska.  I
struggled to communicate, and found my voice by singing.  I traveled,
hoping to know the world.  I shook off my anger, embraced adventure, and
picked up pieces of music from everywhere.

 

“The next time I was in a room filled with women, I was
drinking a special rare tea from Peru which a gentle American
herbalist had collected from a female shaman and a dying religion.  This
was a ceremony called Soul Retrieval, gathering pieces of our soul that were
lost when we betrayed our ideals.  There were no extreme hallucinations,
no mind-blowing insights into the world, just an introduction to myself, and a
conversation getting to know that inner voice some call the conscience.  After
talking to myself for hours in a fascinating conversation, I drove home
listening to Yma Sumac’s Legend of the
Sun Virgin
.  I said to myself, ‘I would love this if it weren’t so
damn camp and cheeseball.’

 

 

“I got stranded in New York City
when my Honda Civic broke down carrying five artists, two dogs, and several
hundred pounds of sculpture headed for a gallery in Brooklyn.
 I had always hated New York,
but it is the greatest place to be without a car, so I gave my broken car to a
Haitian immigrant and I moved in with a queer genius hoarder and his three cats
in Spanish Harlem.  I sat down in a movie theater next to my hero, Lou
Reed.  I got married to a fire-breathing, sword brandishing street
performer.   I committed myself to the world by giving birth to a
beautiful son, and I finally recorded my new album, Soul Retrieval, with the help of a man named Tony Visconti, who had
previously helped David Bowie and Marc Bolan realize their musical visions.
 Here it is.”

 

 

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