Throwing Muses for the middle of the week. Perennial favorites since their self-titled Debut album in 1986. They’ve been categorized as unorthodox and surreal in their music and lyrics (with Kristen Hersh and Tanya Donelly handling those chores), and there’s huge appeal with that. There is also a nice reality to their lyrics – a certain visceral quality that is more comforting than jarring – I suspect much of the lyric writing for Throwing Muses has been done by Hirsch since her solo projects share the same compelling tone an sentiment. Hersh’s hallucinatory, febrile songs occasionally touched on the subject of mental illness, more often drawing portraits of characters from daily life or addressing relationships.
This session, done for Marc Radcliffe at BBC Radio 1 on January 1, 1996, comes around the time of the recording of Limbo (November-December 1995), which would wind up being their last album before going on extended hiatus (as well as personnel shuffle) and resurfacing in 2003.
Since 2003 Throwing Muses came back with their eighth album, Throwing Muses, which also saw the return of Tanya Donelly who provided backing vocals on the album. A greatest hits compilation titled Anthology was released in 2011. The band’s ninth album, Purgatory / Paradise was released on October 29, 2013 in the UK and November 11 in the US.
In early 2014, the band toured a few U.S. cities, with Donelly opening for the East Coast dates.
Fortunately, Throwing Muses have had chart success in the U.S. as well as the UK, so it’s not a question of they’re only being heard by a small, yet devoted fanbase. But if, for some reason, you may not be familiar with them, I would suggest you start with this session and dive into any of their nine albums to get a sample of their studio work. A great band that gives further evidence current music is in good places and in good hands.