After a divorce and his continued battle with the lower intestine infection C. diff, Richard Edwards has had an intense few years. Yet his new single “Gene,” off his upcoming album Verdugo, reveals a soothing compassion. As as follow up to his 2017 debut solo album Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset, the former Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s frontman is continuing to supply the world with gentle, dreamy indie-folk.
The song is a slow dance; it’d be fun to sway to it outside in the summertime. In a constant half-falsetto, Edwards’ voice melds his lyrics together, almost allowing you to forget the pain of lyricsl like, “Gene’s having a day/ I don’t know what to do/ And she’s curled in the fetal option/ She claws at her face like a rat.”
Edwards speaks of his inspiration:
I wrote “Gene” during a period where I was stopping and starting some writing projects based around a few actresses from the 1940s who went through long periods of success followed by intense periods of decline, accompanied by what some would call “madness.” Structurally I wanted it to unfold more like a play or short story rather than a pop song, which is something I’m trying to do more of these days. And I wanted it to be compassionate.
I don’t know if Edwards’ “Gene” refers to ’40s actress Gene Tierney or not, but her Wikipedia page seems to follow a similar colorful and rocky arc. Listen to “Gene” below.
Verdugo is out 6/1 via Profound Discomfort. Pre-order it here.