Sinead O’Brien’s new single Kid Stuff is out now via Chess Club Records.
The track was produced by Speedy Wundergroud’s Dan Carey, with the music to coincide with Sinead O’Brien’s poetry created by Julian Hanson and Oscar Sholto Robertson. Hanson’s guitar opens the song with a light reverbed bend that would be a suitable backdrop for watching a mirage form before your eyes. O’Brien’s brogue comes in with a bite that could pick the ears of a post-punk regeneration. Her sound swells with Hanson and Robertson’s hypnotic rhythm. The guitar floats in whisps of riffs though occasional waves of static interrupted by the crashing of Sholto’s symbols.
I think that we can all relate to the level of mundanity O’Brien is referencing in the song, particularly the boredom of “Watching clocks, kettles / Sunset after sunset / For a sign of change / Washing lines heavy with cargo / I do not need / Hanging from my lines”. Here washing lines feel synonymous with lines of poetry, as O’Briens lyrics are heavy with the ennui of her environment. There is something childlike and peaceful about this world of continuous sunsets and washing lines, but the way we that arrived there is forceful: “we have been extracted / Smoked out of the streets/ Led in”. Could this be a comment on the Government’s rash handling of lockdowns?
If this is the case, O’Brien might be saying that we will move past this by accepting our position, if anything, it is an opportunity to sit with ourselves until we are face to face with what we are ignoring: “To turn my mind toward / That which I ignore / To spend time on it / To meditate a ring around the sun”. Either way, O’Brien’s lyrics are surreal and therefore inherently disorientating. To decipher it ruins the sense of mystery behind her poetry. Take this away, and we can only appreciate O’Brien as none less than a bard of the human condition, armed with musicians that drip diapason into the ear, warm and simultaneously soft and sharp. Check it out below: