Q&A

Larkin Grimm Discusses Tony Visconti, Michael Gira, and Soul Retrieval

Larkin Grimm's infant son Otis is already more rock 'n' roll than you.

From the safety of his car seat, the four-month-old interjected a couple times during my interview with Grimm. Larkin and Otis are on tour, headed in her Prius to Albuquerque, New Mexico for another gig.

"I'm playing a lot of house shows, because I have my infant son with me, who's four- months-old," Grimm says. "It's all set up through friends, and friends of friends, so that I know that it's all mellow enough for my baby to be there."

An infant tour-mate is hardly standard, but not much about Grimm is.

"I asked the pediatrician," Grimm continues. "She said, 'Yeah, it's good. It'll help build immunity.'"

Otis is just one major way that Grimm's life has changed since leaving Michael Gira's Young God Records after the release of her 2008 album Parplar; since splitting from the label, she moved to New York, married the fire-breathing artist Master Lee, became a mother, and recorded a stunning new record, Soul Retrieval, with David Bowie and T. Rex producer Tony Visconti on electric bass and co-production.

The new album (due in February on Grimm's own Bad Bitch Records) is beautiful. Opener "Paradise and So Many Colors" shuffles on a lilting waltz cadence, with Grimm's kaleidoscopic images swirling via the lyrics; "Without a Body Or a Numb and Useless Mind" borrows a Cajun-cum-Paul Simon's Graceland bumping beat to dance with its existential questions; and "The Road Is Paved With Leaves" is already one of 2012's best, a low-soul jam, with aching, reverb bathed guitars, horns, gospel vocals, sawing violin, and buzzing analog synths.

That such a lush record was recorded in two days is insane. Over the course of our conversation, Grimm discussed working with Visconti, leaving Young God Records, and her hope (imparted to her by a white shaman, natch) that 2012 will be a very good year.

Larkin Grimm is scheduled to perform tonight at Funny World.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.