Friday, January 13, 2012

A sunnier Larkin Grimm

I've been struggling with Larkin Grimm's Soul Retrieval lately. You might remember Grimm as one of Michael Gira's proteges, a dark-ish sort of voice, whose Parplar in 2008, seemed to herald a significant talent. Grimm has a really fascinating story, growing up in redneck country, going to Yale on art scholarship, meeting up with Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth and finally, through a nanny job, establishing a relationship with Michael Gira. [Who said, on hearing her sing, she says, "Girl, you've got the darkness in you."]

Soul Retrieval is substantially lighter than Parplar, happier, even to the point of a whistling chorus. She's gotten married in the interim, had a baby and settled down, which, okay, good for her, I love my family, too, but it's just not as interesting. "there is nothing to worry about...everything's fine," she sings, in a kind of Motown soul voice for "The Road Is Paved With Leaves," and the song is full of ease rather than vertigo, bland assurance rather than danger. I've been listening to Parplar again just to confirm my impression and, yeah, I like it a lot more than Soul Retrieval.

Other people seem to be enjoying it though, see this Village Voice piece "Download: Larkin Grimm's Pulsing, Luminous "Paradise And So Many Colors" .(by Christopher Weingarten) for the positive perspective. There's a download of the album's opening track embedded in the article.

Grimm did a Daytrotter session about six months ago, but it's mostly old material. Check it out here.

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