After establishing illustrious musical careers apart, Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse joined up in musical collaboration (and in marriage) recently with their 2019 debut under the moniker Good Fuck, an experimental post-industrial project that has since evolved to accommodate last year’s debut EP under their own names and its follow-up full-length Giddy Skelter, set to arrive September 8 via their new label home of Kill Rock Stars. As the record’s puzzle pieces continue to be laid out leading up to that release date, the latest single sees the duo experiment with upbeat piano, minimal electronic percussion, and Pulse’s gentle vocals all pitted against harsh guitar tones. According to Kinsella, the track isn’t a cover, but was directly inspired by one particular nugget of classic rock.
“Thanks to the many chance operations that we relied on to guide our processes, the music for ‘Nena’ got attached to the song ‘Vera’ from Pink Floyd’s The Wall,” he shares. “After fate determined such attachments, we’d ask ourselves how exactly to make the connection… We went with the obvious and followed the name. We needed a name that was both melodious and that neither of us had any personal associations with. We agreed on the name ‘Nena’ and then the association became ‘99 Red Balloons.’ Addressing that Nena, as determined by the song ‘Vera,’ meant this song was not a cover, but a song about a song.”
Predictably a left turn from Pink Floyd’s prog-operatic ballad about a WWII-era British vocalist, Kinsella and Pulse leave things fairly open-ended in the song’s brief lyrical passage, working with their album’s directive to “plainly state the most difficult and painful fact we could think of.” This left the track’s video director Jonathan van Herik with a fairly blank slate to craft a brief visual narrative. “‘Nena’ drifts through memories and time in an attempt to find meaning and connections in the chaos of everyday life,” van Herik notes. “What seems simple at first becomes illusory and hard to grasp as time and memory melt together. Do vampires celebrate birthdays?”
“We did not mention any of this to the director Jonathan van Herik at any point during the making of the video,” Kinsella adds of the aforementioned directive. “Not because we were being coy, but just ’cause it never even occurred to us as relevant, let alone necessary, for him to realize his own ideas of what the song means to him.”
See and hear the results below, and pre-order Giddy Skelter before it drops next month here. You can also find Kinsella & Pulse’s upcoming tour dates beneath the video.
Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse Live Dates:
9/05 - Cleveland, OH - Mahall’s (supporting Spirit of the Beehive)
09/09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10/05 - Detroit, MI - Lager House
10/12 - New York, NY - Knitting Factory