Kim Gordon’s New Album, ‘Coming Apart’
Listening to the primal subterranean minimalism of Coming Apart, the debut LP of Body/Head, Kim Gordon’s new experimental guitar duo with Bill Nace (Vampire Belt), it’s hard not thinking about her recent and shocking split with Thurston Moore, her husband of 27 years, father of her daughter and bandmate in the seminal indie band Sonic Youth since 1981.
"I can understand people being curious," Gordon told Elle magazine in the spring about the intense interest in her life since the breakup. "I’m curious myself. What’s going to happen now?"
As it turns out, a lot. In addition to releasing the first proper full-length album of her new project on Matador Records, Gordon has spent most of the year touring around the globe, appearing in a silent film by Canadian artist Marcel Dzama for the Toronto Film Festival, working on her memoirs and getting ready for the upcoming retrospective of her visual art at White Columns in New York, the first large-scale survey of her artistic practice since 1980, which will feature a new limited-edition vinyl solo recording.
Gordon’s collaboration with Nace started around two years ago, with the two finding inspiration in their shared interest in film. "We screened this very slowed down version of a Catherine Breillat film," Gordon told Stereogum about one of their first gigs. "I forget whether it was Fat Girl or A Real Young Girl—but it was playing so slowly that basically that you’d almost think that there wasn’t anything going on. We had two guitars and my vocals through an amp with effects on it. That started it. I guess we kinda see music a little bit like soundtrack music in a way."
Coming Apart has an undoubtedly cinematographic effect: Aleatory vocals and shards of dissonant guitar are driven by the faraway thumping of war drums and punctuated by a stream of noise that reveals Gordon’s DNA as one of the forebears of experimental guitar-based rock music. It exudes all the ominous tension and deliberate pacing of a gritty Scandinavian policier, with Gordon and Nace directing a controlled chaos that often reaches sublime heights.
Listen to an advance album stream of Coming Apart on Pitchfork until September 9. And get primed for the September 10 release and mini-tour with a video of the duo discussing their influences and performing live at Saint Vitus for Brooklyn’s Northside Festival.
Body/Head Tour Dates: