In the last few months, the music industry has attained a higher level of awareness about the sexual assault that occurs on a near-constant level within it. Part of this is due to high-profile women speaking out: last night’s powerful Lady Gaga performance at the Oscars, in which she was flanked by numerous survivors, as well as Kesha’s accusations towards Dr. Luke.
Some of the less famous incidents, however, have emerged through survivors speaking out on social media. The most recent of these is Larkin Grimm, who last week accused her former label head and mentor, Swans’ Michael Gira, of raping her and then dropping her from his label. (Gira initially denied these claims, then released an official statement saying their relationship was consensual.)
More introspective and abstract than Gaga’s track, it can nonetheless be considered a tandem to it, Grimm’s voice sweet and easy at first before being whipped up by the gale force of emotion and the whirs and trills of her diamond harp. “You hear your mother cry,” she sings, “I wish that I could die/ I wish that you would die too, so that I could play outside/ I could be free with you/ I don’t believe you.” Its lyrics embody the doubt many women are met with when they first speak out about their assault, and also the incredulity and denial some survivors might feel towards their abusers. It’s a beautiful, powerful song and it’s good that it exists.
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Larkin Grimm image via Facebook.