No Horses

Album: Yet to be titled (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • This industrial rocker finds Shirley Manson singing of a grim future. "'No Horses' is basically a dream-fueled anxiety attack," she explained. "A dark imagining of the future in which a presiding regime values only profit and success, leaving no room for tiny beautiful things, small gestures and great beasts."
  • Manson explained the track's inspiration. "It's actually a song that's very un-Garbage like," she told Variety. "I was driving through the Scottish countryside last year and looking at these fields of horses and thinking, what will happen to them when we don't need them as much as we once did? When they're no longer working beasts, what will happen to the horses? So it's an imagining of the future where the authorities destroy anything that doesn't make large amounts of money."

    The band's producer and drummer Butch Vig added: "'No Horses' started as a jam, hardly any music, like a lot of these weird noise loops, and Shirley sang this amazing line over it. It's very Patti Smith stream of consciousness, very pertinent politically to what's going on."
  • The track was released in aid of the International Committee of the Red Cross with all of the band's profits from sales and streams being donated through to the end of 2018.
  • The apocalyptic, politically charged music video was directed by Scott Stuckey, who is best known as the creator of the cult TV show Pancake Mountain. The clip contains images of protesters, clashes with police and fighter jets. There are also some horses in it, belying the song title. Stuckey said regarding the visual's inspiration:

    "It's been my observation that when governments disregard their citizens for their own greed, the ensuing soundtrack usually kick's ass. Like Nina Simone's 'Mississippi Goddam' or the Clash's 'Straight To Hell', 'No Horses' made me realise that I'm not going insane, these really are f---ed up times. The lyrics are powerful so the challenge was to add something visually that wouldn't ruin the individual's interpretation."

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