Music News

The ladies in Lady Parts discuss literature and the creative process

Katie Gold and Becky Christian were introduced by a mutual friend and didn't know much about each other until a few months after they started working together. Their creative chemistry, though, was immediately evident. With a shared background in literature, Gold and Christian wrote songs without making reference to anything that was current in the music world at the time. The two, who perform under the name Lady Parts, have a self-described "experimental chamber pop" sound, and their debut album, So It Goes, is an amalgamation of their literary leanings, lush, dreamy sensibilities and more than its fair share of sharp wit. We recently spoke with Gold and Christian about some of the smart literary allusions present on their album.

Westword: Is there a significance to the title So It Goes, and is it in any way a reference to Slaughterhouse Five?

Becky Christian: It is. I had read that book recently, and it's amazing. There were these brutally emotional, crazy stories, and it has that refrain of "So it goes." With our music, I think we try to keep it fairly simple, but we try to cover heavy topics.

Katie Gold: Normally, we don't like to write anything about specific people; it's usually about different situations. We don't write a song like, "Oh, I got dumped yesterday, so I'm going to write a 'heartbreak' song."

BC: As you live, there's this mulching, and songs and artwork come out of it.

Becky, "Mums for Mice" is clearly drawing upon the short story and the novel Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes. But you've appropriated the story for your own purposes. What was the inspiration for doing so?

BC: That song is fairly biographical, and I read the novel shortly before I wrote the song. That book got me. You take a man who is mentally disabled, take him to genius level and take him back to his original state. You take a genius, and you take a man who has an IQ of 68, and they experience the same things. There's something about that, to me, that was so beautiful. We all go crazy in our lives, and we all have difficult times.

The music to "The Key to the Heart of Icarus" has an especially melancholy tone. What is that song about?

BC: Some song meanings, I think, change as we play them. That one is a little strange because it has meant different things. Sometimes, to me, it's about the repeating of tasks. It sounds so stupid, the inanity of that repetition, but people's passions keep them doing the same things. Icarus has kind of a sad story because he's like, "I'm flying places and seeing things." Then his wings melt, and he crashes back to the ground. But do people stop pursuing passions? No, because it's the warmest they feel in their lives.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.