It’s sad how dramatically I underestimated Kimya Dawson after the business with the Juno soundtrack (“the business” in this case being that she was on it rather prominently with a song called “Tire Swing” which is a lovely and sweet song about heartbreak. It’s simple, heart-warming, and utterly perfect as the theme song for the movie Juno.)
Tire Swing always felt like a sly wink. Like a layer of shiny silver wrapping paper pulled tight around an uglier sadness, its outline seductively obscured by the curl of a bow. It was a sweet song, but I couldn’t get past the feeling of wanting to peek underneath the pretty.
The Beer, from Dawson’s 2004 album, My Cute Fiend Sweet Princess, is the opposite of that song. Or its inverse. Or the epilogue, or prologue.
The Beer will not come as a surprise to anyone at all familiar with Dawson’s work outside of the Juno soundtrack, but for anyone like me who let their attention lapse after only those two or three songs, The Beer will smash over your head in all its messy, complicated beauty.
PS – I apologize for the janky and definitely unofficial Soundcloud link up there. I scoured all the corners of the internet for something more certified, to no avail. If you like the song please buy it here. Buy the album here via Important Records.