Little Scream are releasing their third album, Speed Queen, at the end of October. We’ve heard one track so far from the Laurel Sprengelmeyer-led project, “Dear Leader,” and today she’s sharing another one, “Still Life,” which was inspired by a great painting from Manet.
It brings the painting to life, the disaffected barmaid looking out at the crowd and feeling all the worse for it. “As you slam into a barroom and the curtain’s coming down,” Sprengelmeyer sets the scene. “And I looked to ya to show me what I’m worth/ You look through me and I come up to the earth. She expands on it in a statement:
Much of my new record Speed Queen touches on class, poverty, and politics. But there are a few exceptions, and all of these exceptions have one thing in common — they all reference painting. I guess painting is my “happy place,” and the thing that gave me a break from the other heavy subject matter. “Still Life” is a song that grew out of a fragment Mike Feuerstack had started and shared with me. I had just been discussing that Manet painting Un bar aux Folies Bergère, and I finished writing the song with the unrequited longing that painting has always inspired in me.
Speed Queen is out 10/25 via Merge Records. Pre-order it here.