Image by Kahn and Selesnick
We have been bowing before the resplendence of Amanda Palmer since her Dresden Dolls arrived in all their macabre magnificence back in 2003. Since then, we have exigently counted on her to feed our fringe-prowling souls with everything from fearless fits of extravagant whimsy to fierce flights of ideological ferocity to sheer emotional honesty and brutality.
Yet today she’s delivered emotional honesty of a whole new sort, pulling us into a “conversation” that we are duly privileged, if a bit unprepared, to find ourselves privy to…with the release of her genuinely devastating new single, “Voicemail for Jill.” Stripped of the usual sonic frippery, here it’s just Amanda sat at her piano, delivering a pained “musical letter” from London to a special friend in Boston (“You’re off at the green line and walking through Copley…”) who is obviously on her way to have an abortion procedure carried out – and probably very, deeply alone.
Indeed, Palmer unflinchingly reminds us all what a heart-rending, desolate and isolating experience it can often be.
“No one’s gonna celebrate you
No one’s gonna bring you cake
And no one’s gonna shower you with flowers
The doctor won’t congratulate you
No one on that pavement’s gonna
Shout at you that your heart also matters”
To those on both sides of the debate, her lyrics admonish that there is always a personal, painful plight at the center of it all – sometimes forgotten amidst all the vitriol and castigation.
“I wrote this song as a gift, a handbook,” she explains, “for any woman on her way to have an abortion – and as a reminder that this is not an experience you have to face alone.”
Amanda Palmer’s new album There Will Be No Intermission will be released March 8th.