“Sketch Artist” (director – Loretta Fahrenholz)
Multi-disciplinary artist Kim Gordon‘s first solo album, No Home Record is being released worldwide October 11th on Matador Records. No Home Record follows the recent opening of Gordon’s solo exhibition “She Bites Her Tender Mind” at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) in Dublin and “Lo-Fi Glamour” at Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. Among its nine tracks, No Home Record features the new single “Sketch Artist” accompanied by a video directed by Berlin-based experimental artist Loretta Fahrenholz and includes a cameo from actress and writer Abbi Jacobson. Fahrenholz notes, notes ‘Sketch Artist’ is a haunted car ride. Kim drives as ‘Unter’ Pool summons passengers throughout nighttime LA. The city drifts by, passengers intermingle in the back seat and Kim’s deadly stare shocks pedestrians along her route.”
No Home Record was produced largely by Justin Raisen (Charli XCX, Ariel Pink, Sky Ferreira) at Sphere Ranch in Los Angeles, along with contributions from Shawn Everett (Jim James, The War on Drugs) and composer/filmmaker Jake Meginsky (L’appel Du Vide, ‘Milford Graves Full Mantis’). Gordon’s solo debut album’s title is a nod to the French-Belgian director Chantal Akerman’s film No Home Movie .
‘Why a solo record? And why now?,’” Gordon mused of the upcoming solo debut. “I don’t know, but it wouldn’t have happened without the persistence of Justin Raisen. Living in LA the last few years it feels like home, but the transience of the place makes it feel sometimes like no home.”
Since co-founding Sonic Youth in 1981, Kim Gordon has remained at the nexus of music, fashion, art and (more recently) books and film. In the past few years alone, Gordon has debuted in the #1 spot on the NY Times Bestseller List with her 2015 memoir Girl In A Band, acted alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill under the direction of Gus Van Sant (in 2018’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot”), released music and performed as one half of Body/Head alongside Bill Nace, and opened multiple solo-exhibitions at internationally renowned museums.
‘No Home Record’ will be available on standard black vinyl, limited edition white vinyl, CD, or cassette. Get 15% off your order when you bundle the record with a tee (featuring stills from the “Sketch Artist” video directed by Loretta Fahrenholz) or album art tote.
With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and visionary artists working today. A co-founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace. Despite the exhaustive nature of her résumé, the most reliable aspect of Gordon’s music may be its resistance to formula. Songs discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music.
Gordon continues this pursuit on No Home Record, her first-ever solo release, produced by Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Yves Tumor, John Cale, Charli XCX, etc.) and recorded at Sphere Ranch in Los Angeles. Borrowing its name from a Chantal Akerman film, No Home Record is, in many ways, a return as much as it is a departure. When Gordon first began playing music in the early 1980s, she used a guitar, a drum machine, and some lyrics sniped from magazine advertisement copy. No Home Recordcontains echoes of that setup, in both form and concept. On “Cookie Butter” (produced by Shawn Everett), Gordon’s vocals jut out insistently over a tinny raindrop beat: “You fucked / You think / I want / You fell.” The song continues, hectic and driving, until finding resolution in the lines “Industrial metal supplies / Cookie butter,” perfectly illustrating Gordon’s singular lyric capacity to meld cultural critique, divulgence and humor.
This captivating ability is further exemplified by “Don’t Play it Back” (produced by Jake Meginsky) where Gordon’s wiry vocals slice the track’s circling electric floor: “You don’t own me / Golden Vanity / You can pee in the ocean / It’s Free.” This nod—with a wink—towards culture’s increasingly fraught (and increasingly commodified) relationship with identity and the self is one of No Home Record’s central themes. “Shopping off a cliff / You’re a breath on my eye / To lose a compass of teeth / Hash away at twitter,” Gordon recites, phosphorescent and dirge-like, on the album’s stunning closer “Get Yr Life Back Yoga,” “Everyday, everyday, everyday / I feel bad for you / I feel bad for me.”
It makes sense that this “American idea” (as Gordon says on the agitated rock track “Air BnB”) of purchasing utopia permeates the record, as no place is this phenomenon more apparent than Los Angeles, where Gordon was born and recently returned to after several lifetimes on the east coast. It was a move precipitated by a number of seismic shifts in her personal life and undoubtedly plays a role in No Home Record’s fascination with transience. The album opens with the restless “Sketch Artist,” where Gordon sings about “dreaming in a tent” as the music shutters and skips like scenery through a car window. “Even Earthquake,” perhaps the record’s most straightforward track embodies this mood; Gordon’s voice wavering like watercolor: “If I could cry and shake for you / I’d lay awake for you / I got sand in my heart for you,” guitar strokes blending into one another as they bleed out across an unstable page. Front to back, No Home Record is an expert operation in the uncanny. You don’t simply listen to Gordon’s music; you experience it. – Elaine Kahn