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Nothing Like A Memory To Open Up A Broken Heart

February 28, 2013

Photo from Interview magazine, by Craig McDean

I have a confession to make: I never understood the success of Girls. I’m not referring to Lena Dunham’s growing, impressive and flawed oeuvre of episodes (because really, that’s a whole ‘nother story, for reals) – I’m talking about the San Francisco pop band that released Album out of nowhere and got people super horny about ‘Lust for Life’ etc. Like, admittedly I really liked their stuff – it was sunny and sad and honest (I’m not sure if it is actually honest, but to me the lyrics didn’t feel contrived, perhaps owed to their simple and confessional nature.) To me, at the time, the response was disproportionate to the material itself. When Father, Son, Holy Ghost was released I didn’t even bother checking it out, and had skimmed an article about the band breaking up with nothing more than a cursory interest.


I’m not sure how I found myself listening to Lysandre, but sat still frozen when I heard Broken Heart. A feeling flooded through me, and I was paralyzed by the sadness and reflection. I could not move while Christopher’s quiet anguish spilled, while he intoned “Nothing like a memory to open up a broken heart / it’s been years but I look at you now / and you’re torn apart”.

It’s like some spell was cast, and I was suddenly inculcated into the Girls/Owens cult.1 And I feel some tie to Christopher. I don’t want to make ignorant parallels between his sordid and my comparatively vanilla childhood. But obvious discrepancies aside, I do think there are comparisons that could arguably be made. Like, Chris’s aura of vulnerability, of being exposed. For some reason I am very drawn to that. There, to me, is a self-destructive quality to him, but contradictorily through his music there is a simultaneous earnestness to communicate, or confide, or something.

And finally on top of that there’s this photoshoot with Interview magazine (some photos featured here) in which he poses in gender ambiguous Kurt Cobain esque frames. Muted colors, strange postures and cadence. So all that to say, I’m down with all that. I’m somehow now down with Girls.

1 – “Cult” is maybe not a choice word, if you know anything about Chris’s background.

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