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Sleater-Kinney - Say It Like You Mean It

Chris Hornbecker

There is about grief the necessary aftertaste of dreaming. In the wake of sudden loss – a moment, a person, a way of being brought violently to an end – the thing lost is gone but not its outline, a strange unstable place in which festers all manner of strange unstable thinking. The rules of reality temporarily subside, and mourning makes of the world a negative space. Plunged without warning into that space, Sleater-Kinney returns with Little Rope, one of the finest, most delicately layered records in the band’s nearly 30-year career. In the Autumn of 2022, Carrie Brownstein received a call from Corin Tucker, who herself had just received a call from the American embassy in Italy.

Years earlier, Brownstein listed Tucker as her emergency contact on a passport form, and while she had since changed her phone number, Tucker had not. The embassy staff were desperately trying to reach Brownstein. When they finally did, they told her what happened: While vacationing in Italy, Brownstein’s mother and stepfather had been in a car accident. Both were killed. As Brownstein and Tucker moved through the early aftermath of the tragedy, elements of what was to become the emotional backbone of Little Rope began to form – how we navigate grief, who we navigate it with, and the ways in which it transforms us.

Sometimes the process of putting the songs together involved Tucker and Brownstein alone in a room with nothing more than a couple of guitars and amplifiers – a process unchanged since the band started recording in the mid-90s. Sometimes songs that started out quiet slowly transformed into something triumphant. Sometimes the triumphant ones turned out to be quiet songs in disguise.

Sleater-Kinney - Say It Like You Mean It.mp3

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