Quick” wore a bunch of different outfits before it settled on a look. It tried sad and lumpy, waifish and thunky, strident and pleading. And it wound up sounding like an amalgam of all of these, like someone locked in a closet with nothing better to do than wear all the clothes in the closet at once.

I think “Quick” is actually in the closet on purpose, though, hiding. It’s a very sad song, in my opinion. I enjoyed playing it, but not singing it. The music is almost anthemic, the vocals…well, sorta pathetic. Which has its place. I do what songs tell me to do and I’m actually pretty good at pathetic; it comes naturally to me. But “Quick” is a stomach ache.

The first time I played it in the studio, it belted itself out, so I responded with pounding piano and loose drums. Then it got so fragile, I thought it would break if I added so much as a quiet cello bed. I remixed it, then re-recorded it, tried it solo acoustic, full on electric with countless overdubs, but it never really settled in.

I was confounded by its inability to settle. Then I stopped to make a pot of coffee and think. “Quick” is many stories rolled into one. It never slammed on the brakes and rejected my advances like most songs do (they tend to get fed up with my butting in and yell “Stop!”), but it never really shone when left completely alone, bare bones acoustic, either. So I figured “Quick” probably knew what it was doing, and I let it be an “unsettled” kind of song. Which works, oddly enough.

After all, some of the best people I know are unsettled; they try this and take up that, shift over here for a while and then ping-pong back to where they started. They try roles and voices and attitudes but never with the intent to adopt them permanently. And they never accept or reject anything outright;  they just move on, vague and distracted. They’re vines and flowers. “Quick” is for them.


Find this song and all my recent work, in multiple formats – including lossless, free for download on my CASH Music pages. Information on how you can support the creation and distribution of this music by becoming a subscriber is here.

Posted in: Kristin Hersh, music, words on August 26, 2009