Magazine article New Internationalist

[Hersh, Kristin. Murder, Misery & Then Goodnight]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Hersh, Kristin. Murder, Misery & Then Goodnight]

Article excerpt

NEVER has there been an album where the protagonists have such a collectively lousy deal. Kristin Hersh's subjects get beaten up, drowned, stabbed and doused with gin. Sometimes their killers are repentant; sometimes they just couldn't care less. As you've probably guessed, Murder, Misery and then Goodnight is a collection of folk songs. Not only a great series of yarns -- a welcome follow-up to two self-penned albums -- it also affords Hersh an opportunity to revisit the songs of her own Appalachian childhood. As the Brothers Grimm so eloquently remind us, folk tales and folk songs aren't always so nice. That's what's delightful about them: they're a place to indulge -- and to exorcise -- our darkest thoughts.

Hersh is, of course, well-placed to do precisely this. She's a writer with the rare gift for matching the uncanny movement of words and music with a sense of the strange that mediates the dark with humour. …

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