Kimya Dawson was half of the Moldy Peaches, the New York City-based anti-folk supergroup she formed with Adam Green in the late '90s. The Peaches merged primitive guitar whacking with lyrics that gloried in childlike obscenities. "Who's Got the Crack?" was a surprise hit in England, but the self-imposed naivet wore thin fast. The Peaches are now in limbo, and Hidden Vagenda follows several indistinct solo efforts, marking a turning point in Dawson's writing and singing. The melodies are still simple, but they're well-constructed. And her collaborators, including Joe Gore, guitarist of choice for P.J. Harvey and Tom Waits, and French band Herman Dune, add subtle luster to the work. But it's Dawson's lyrics that make Hidden Vagenda breathtaking. Dawson pours out an avalanche of similes and metaphors, images tumbling out of her mouth faster than the mind can follow, creating a simmering psychedelic word stew that leaves your head spinning and a sappy smile on your face.
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