Everett True

Song of the day – 463: Mere Women

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Mere Women - pic Lucien Alperstein

I know what I should be doing. Do I only like music that reminds me of music I liked in the past?

Why can’t I like Kate Miller-Heidke? There’s nothing wrong with her music, I don’t think so at least. (It’s best not to delve too deeply.) It would benefit me to find a few friends in this town. Folk tell me she’s lovely. An evil voice in my head whispers unbidden: “Embrace the mediocre”. Yes, embrace the mediocre or, at the least, the faintly familiar and everything would be far plainer sailing. (Isn’t that what I want?) In my dreams, Kate Miller-Heidke – and she’s a former alumni, a local star, a lovely person and friends with some folk I sometimes refer to as friends – sounds like Sydney’s Mere Woman: all jagged and awkward and brooding, concerned with failure and the shadows and that jarring debut Siouxsie And The Banshees album, and making videos for 0c on their iPhones because 0c is all she has … Kate M-H and Lisa Mallard and Gotye and Washington and all those other aspirational indie-stroke-pop stars Australia delights in parading to the outside world, like they don’t have enough of their own. In my dreams, everything is shaped like silhouettes of the feet of three women staring into a puddle. When I say ‘dreams’, I mean ones that I prefer to remember. There’s nothing wrong with a Gothic undercurrent as long as it’s there to unsettle. But, of course, this undertone doesn’t unsettle this listener because it’s an undertone like a cranky old, belligerently bellicose old friend (me, perhaps) and so it comforts me, to know that there are still folk out there who feel as awkward, as not settled as me.

I know what I should be doing. I should doff my cap, agree to settle for embracing the mediocre … and, of course, it’s not the mediocre to those who love it, just another comfort. I have comfort enough here in Brisbane, with all the hill clearings and rain that tastes of pears, the elegantly scary magpies and faulty garage doors. I need something to remind me of who I once was, that stranger in a very strange country.

Here’s Mere Women. The song is called ‘Amends’ and it’s not fun, vulgar, loud, interactive, happy, fast or any of the other characteristics that QUT students are being taught as being vital to the Entertainments Industry. I suspect this is still considered a plus, in some parts of Sydney and up here in Brisbane too.

And here’s Kate Miller-Heidke. Bless her and all who sail in her.

Prefer who you will. It means less than zero to me. I’m just grateful that Mere Women come after Kate Miller-Heidke in my work iTunes library or I might never have got round to listening to them.

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