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Nerves Exposed, Hersh Sings One for the Oddballs

Former Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh is anything but predictable or formula-bound.
Former Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh is anything but predictable or formula-bound.

The former leader of Throwing Muses, as well as a current member of 50 Ft. Wave, Kristin Hersh continues to churn out dramatic, powerful solo work at an impressive clip. Performing with her nerves fully exposed — her work is raw enough that some have even called her sanity into question — Hersh is anything but predictable or formula-bound. An independent-minded, free-spirited performer, she also rocks out more than most of her peers.

Hersh's lyrics often read like stream-of-consciousness poetry, with the words painting the pictures in her head. "Under the Gun," from her seventh solo album Learn to Sing Like a Star, uses the life of a sad oddball to illustrate the way everyone tries to get by: "Like the parrot lady at Lake Michigan / Troubled by a troubled life / We hover blurry and glassy-eyed." Hersh specializes in building to a crushing chorus, and "Under the Gun" delivers just that, with a powerful message at the same time.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at kexp.org. He is also KEXP's assistant program director.
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