Myra Davies – Cities and Girls
What a brilliant album this is! Get a fabulous and intelligent spoken word artist in Myra Davis and team her up with Gudrun Gut and Alexander Hacke and you get something as witty and engaging as Cities and Girls.
There are a number of LP’s in a similar vein; remember the Fiery Furnaces’ brilliant LP featuring their grandmother? And what about Charles Spearin’s latest LP, or Lydia Lunch’s epic rants with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez? Still, this LP has a woozy charm all of its own and in some ways is more urbane (hence the title I suppose), and wide-ranging. Topics range from checking out William Burroughs’ pad, the tragedy of secret abortion, having a fag in Hanoi, and a very moving final track dealing with Davies’ Ulster ancestry.
Musically the tracks (arranged by Alexander Hacke, Danielle de Piciotto, Gudrun Gut and Beate Bartel) are just as diverse.
Perky dance tracks, (My Friend Sherry), sit alongside sound collages and fabulous reinterpretations of traditional songs and well-known samples. Stuff, both lyrically and musically is near genius with its ‘use’ of Julie Andrews and ‘Mittel Europa’ sound collages (well, it is composed by Alexander Hacke…) Hanoi is similarly successful marriage of sounds and voice; seeping into the listener’s conscience with barely a struggle. And the brilliant Goodbye Belfast uses evocative and emotional reminiscence with a wonderful and slightly psychedelic sympathetic cut-up of old sound recordings.
Get this without delay.