Sunday, 14 August 2016

Music That Saved Me--Letter K--Part 2

This post is all about Kimya Dawson. 
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She is a bit of the anti-Kate. Whereas Kate Bush is polished, well educated and trained in dance with lots of make up and big hair--Kate Bush is glamorous. Kimya Dawson is just herself. She doesn't put on artificial airs and like me she doesn't shave her legs or her armpits. She is more herself than than anyone I know--everyone puts up a bit of a facade--everyone tries to project the best version of themselves. But Kimya Dawson is just Kimya. She is not fancy, but she is wonderful. She is open about  her struggle with alcohol and her songs have a quirky quality to them. Clever words and often deep insight into human beings. Her voice is a bit like Kate Bush's voice in that you either love it or you hate it. Kate is polished, but Kimya is rough. I love them both in equal measures.
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If you've ever seen the film Juno then you know Kimya Dawson. Remember all those slightly off key quirky songs you adored? That's her. When she was with The Moldy Peaches their songs were very low tech. All recorded in someone's house. For Juno, they got her to re-record them in a proper studio so they still sound fresh, just more polished. I still love them, but love her rawer stuff better. But this one is called Tire Swing from the Juno soundtrack.
Listen to it here:

This one is called Tree Hugger and is technically Kimya and Antsy Pants. Also from the Juno soundtrack.
Listen to it here:
This one is from her album  Hidden Vagenda. She just says so much with her words that i feel they don't need much explanation. This one is called Singing Machine. I love the reference to Julian Lennon. And Bruno said what Anders said some producer said to young Lennon
"they can't all be ballads Julian"
Listen to it here:

I Like Giants really makes you feel you are part of the universe and the universe is part of you.
Her songs speak to me because I have suffered from depression many times in my life and realising my place in the universe is one of the ways I have learned to embrace happiness. She sings a bit quickly, but someone has helpfully put the lyrics up as she sings.
Watch it here:

But these are more of her cleaned up ones. Her best ones are the really raw ones--just her and a guitar and no studio. The Beer I Had For Breakfast  is possibly the saddest, truest portrayal of the hopelessness being an alcoholic in a destructive relationship. This is a fan made video--done really well. There is some swearing--so be warned.
Watch it here:
This next song may be my favourite. It is so true about the way people see each other--If you are judging them while they are judging you and you think that makes them assholes  maybe you're an asshole too. But it also touches on something I used to really teach my school kids--there is a reason behind every bullying behaviour. Every act of aggression is cry for help. it's called Same Shit/Complicated --there will be some swearing (Duh! it's in the title!) but it is worth it. This is Kimya in the true, rawest sense. Just her and her guitar.
Kimya also put out a children's album called Alphabutt when her daughter Panda Delilah (mentioned in the song above) was a toddler. 
There she is with Panda in a more recent photo. The album features a song called We're All Animals that says:
When you get older your body will grow hair
On your legs, your armpits and even down there. 
Some people shave theirs off, but I let mine grow
Because I'm an animal and I like being natural. 
I don't care what's fashionable, I like being an animal. 

She is my *role model* on this. Finally someone who gets it! I am a mammal and proud of it!

But my favourite song on Alphabutt is the ABC song. This is a fan made video and it rocks. You know kids would love this. You can hear Panda on the "Uh Oh" line.
Watch it here: 

Edited to add: I just found this beautiful love song by Kimya to her daughter Panda called You Are My Baby that says the most wonderful things that she hopes for her little girl. It makes me cry to listen to it. The emotion is so raw when she sings it. 
Watch it here:

There are my two biggest K choices. They are world's apart, but i love them both deeply. I also love The Kingston Trio since I grew up with them and our friend Iain introduced me to The Killers. I have a soft spot for The Kinks -especially Lola and Come Dancing. But that's the end of Letter K. 

Do you prefer more polished or more raw in a singer? 

1 comment:

  1. She sounds very interesting, but I have never heard of her!