Delicate Cutters

Album: Throwing Muses (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • Throwing Muses' self-titled 1986 debut was a startling listen. Kristin Hersh's candid, psychotic lyrics and the mix of punk energy, folky melodicism, shifting tempos and tangled chord structures set them apart from their mid-1980s contemporaries.

    This ballad, which closes the record, is not a happy ending. It finds Hersh's distressed voice crooning about her experience with self-mutilation accompanied by just her guitar.
  • Many of Kristin Hersh's songs are expressions of an alternate personality that emerged after a teenage bicycle accident gave her double concussion. Hersh later named her alter ego "Bad Kristen" or "Rat Girl," after realizing it was part of her dissociative disorder that was earlier diagnosed as bipolar disorder.

    In the mid-1980s self-harming was a topic new to rock-and-roll. "I was covered in scars," sighed Kristin Hersh to Mojo magazine. "But I didn't know how they got there. Turns out I was suffering from disassociation. Part of you splits off when you experienced a trauma, so you can maintain a persona without darkness and pain. People couldn't see the darkness, but it was all in the songs. Which I had no control over."
  • Throwing Muses were signed to British independent label 4AD. Their eponymous debut was the first album by an American band released on 4AD, which had concentrated primarily on British-based acts up to that point.

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