Zedek’s æsthetic

By MATT ASHARE  |  April 29, 2008

“When I did my first solo album in 2001, I thought that I’d be playing with different people on each album. I’d been the primary songwriter for years and years, and I felt like I lost those songs when Come broke up. So I was going to go under my own name. I also just didn’t want to ask for a big commitment from anyone. So I thought I’d just play with David and Mel on that first album. Over the years, they all did their own stuff, but they never really left. So it had become a real band. I mean, we’ve been playing together for seven years. Me and Mel are like brother and sister. I don’t know if it’s the Russian Jew in us, but he just gets it without me having to say anything. And Dave’s kind of like that too, because he just adds so much to the songs without me having to say anything.”

That sense of unity may account for some of the turbulent power of Liars and Prayers. But the lyrics — especially in “Begin To Exhume,” “We Don’t Go,” and “Body Memory,” three of the disc’s weightier tracks — belie any method to the madness. However Zedek’s lyrics may tend toward the personal, they’re usually veiled. Political commentary is something she usually avoids; yet here there’s the repeated chorus “We don’t go/So we don’t know” and the lines “killing time with laughter/Or killing time with war” in “We Don’t Go,” as well as her raw-throated “There will come a day when everyone will pay” over the noisy assault of “Begin To Exhume.” And “Body Memory” was inspired by the death of a close friend in 2006, poetry-slam champ Lisa King.

“I’m not one of those people who’s very creative during emotional turmoil,” she points out. “I guess I need some time to process it. And I don’t like to write about politics. But it’s just too hard to ignore right now. I didn’t grow up with George Bush, so I can tell that things are really, really fucked up.”

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