With Marnie Stern you know what you’re going to get before you listen, but that doesn’t make it any less thrilling. Her sophomore album’s very reminiscent of her first, last year’s In Advance of the Broken Arm, but at the same time, the formula feels more soulful, less tech-y. Outside of the overlong Beckett-esque title — This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That — it’s really natural, with more dynamic range and ebbs/flows (and more of Zach Hill’s drumming). In Advance felt a little front-loaded, lost some steam as it headed to the finish line. This Is It works more as a start-to-finish listen. Plus, there’re great songs called “The Crippled Jazzer” and “Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.” (She’s right, we don’t.) For now, you can hear another highpoint, “Transformer.”
Marnie Stern – “Transformer” (MP3)
“I turn this moment into something new. / It’s true. / Are you ready to feel alive? / The ancient echoes crawling out from my insides.” Even though it isn’t a word I ever say aloud, “thrilling” really is the right descriptor for Stern’s music. Each track sounds like she’s stumbling upon something for the first time and blowing her own mind while doing it.
This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That is out 10/7 via Kill Rock Stars. This is what it’ll look like:
[Hella headband photo from Marnie @ SXSW 2007]