I like people rediscovering my songs. It gives [the songs] renewed life. They were written with the concept that they were suitable for only one artist, made with [that artist] in mind. You hear Dionne [Warwick] singing in your head, and that’s how you do the song. But [the covers] show the songs can be done another way.
“Here comes the train, here to take my baby away.”
It’s a lyric as old as any mournful blues song, but this hook to Annie Hardy’s new single, “Train,” is riven with loss.
Hardy, as fans of her old band Giant Drag may now know, has endured incomprehensible personal pain over the last few years, losing both her newborn baby Silvio to sudden infant death syndrome and her partner, Robert Paulson, to an overdose just a year later.
Songwriting was the one thing to pull her out of that miasma of grief, and “Train” is one of her most plainspoken expressions of raw pain. Half of it is lost in a reverbed fog of memory and disconnection, the other half is ruptured by feedback so intense it feels like physical illness.
Watch the new video for the song above.
Given Hardy’s giddily vulgar past rock projects, this deeply-wounded vulnerability makes “Rules” one of the bravest and most harrowing local albums of the year.