LAURA STEVENSON – ” Jellyfish “

Posted: January 4, 2016 in MUSIC
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From the Laura Stevenson record “Cocksure” which came out late October on Don Giovanni Records. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a jellyfish is their sting. Scary, right? But these perceptively “dangerous” creatures fall apart the more you think about them — they’re flabby, gelatinous blobs with no structure or shape. They’re pretty useless, really. So when Laura Stevenson compares herself to one on her new song, it’s easy to conjure up an image of what she’s talking about: sprawled out in bed, arms and legs out in whatever direction, unable and unwilling to move. Underneath all that laziness and fear, there’s potential for a spark, a jolt, but it doesn’t manage to come through. “I’ll be home indoors because I’m wasting away my life and gifts on being a piece of shit,” she sings in the way-catchy chorus. Stevenson embraces her self-destructive tendencies because it’s easy. Staying in and not facing the world requires no effort at all. Why bother to grow a backbone at all? The act of not doing feels as natural as floating

There’s self-deprecation, and then there’s what Laura Stevenson does. While some songwriters have playfully toyed with their own ineptitudes in love, friendships, or life in general throughout their music, Stevenson full-on lives in it. If you ever catch her live show—and you should—make a drinking game out of every time she introduces a song by saying, “This next song is a sad one.” You’ll be lucky to be able to walk out of the venue of your own accord.

On her last album, the under-appreciated Wheel, Stevenson mused in one song about being content to sit in a room while the building burned around her: “I wouldn’t mind if you left me here, standing on the other side of a locked door in a big, big fire.” Tragic, fucked up, and even oddly beautiful, but not a new thing for her. Over three albums now, Laura Stevenson has been spinning this gift for dark poetics.

But “Jellyfish,” her new single from her forthcoming fourth album, Cocksure, is next-level self-loathing. Stevenson goes right for her own gut from the very first line: “I’m fucking hideous and spiteful when I’m left to my devices.” And it doesn’t get much brighter from there. She goes on to call herself lazy and a loser before ending with “I’m wasting away my life and gifts on being a piece of shit.” Jesus Christ, what a dark line. What a dark song.

While the inward jabs are cutting, Stevenson’s true gift is taking this melancholy and making it sound upbeat and fun. She is the undisputed champion of writing feel-good feel-bad songs.


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