Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse Premiere New Single “Nena” Via Flood Magazine

*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Chromatic PR*



Confirm Initial Album Release Shows, Including Chicago’s Empty Bottle (9/09) and NYC’s Knitting Factory (10/12)
Credit: Marzena Abrahamik

Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse today released the tense and gorgeous ballad “Nena,” their latest single previewing their forthcoming debut LP for Kill Rock Stars, Giddy Skelter, due out September 8th. One of the album’s most honest and vulnerable tracks, “Nena” debuted via FLOOD Magazine alongside a surreal video directed by Jonathan van Herik that follows a vampire’s birthday. While the video’s protagonist is in fact not the song’s titular character, director van Herik explained his concept: “‘Nena’ drifts through memories and time in an attempt to find meaning and connections in the chaos of everyday life. What seems simple at first becomes illusory and hard to grasp as time and memory melt together. Do vampires celebrate birthdays?

Kinsella explained the song’s lyrics and origins: “Thanks to the many chance operations that we relied on to guide our processes, the music for ‘Nena’ got attached to the song ‘Vera’ from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. After fate determined such attachments, we’d ask ourselves how exactly to make the connection. It could be a half-time outro or inserting a melodic guitar solo. In this case, we went with the obvious and followed the name. 

We needed a name that was both melodious and that neither of us had any personal associations with. We agreed on the name ‘Nena’ & then the association became ‘99 Red Balloons.’ Addressing that Nena, as determined by the song ‘Vera,’ meant this song was not a cover, but a song about a song. 

But then, there was another chance operation to apply. This directive was to plainly state the most difficult and painful fact we could think of and make it fit melodically somewhere on the album. And this is the song where that line landed. Its inclusion then shifted the song’s ‘narrative’ with another twist.

We did not mention any of this to the director Jonathan van Herik at any point during the making of the video. Not because we were being coy, but just cuz it never even occurred to us as relevant, let alone necessary, for him to realize his own ideas of what the song means to him.”

The married duo have also expanded their initial set of album release shows this fall to include a hometown release show at Chicago’s Empty Bottle on September 9th and Detroit’s Lager House on October 5th, in addition to their recently announced gig at NYC’s Knitting Factory on October 12th. They’ll also support Spirit of the Beehive at Cleveland’s Mahall’s on September 5th; a full itinerary is listed below and more shows will soon be announced. 

“Nena” follows album singles “Whinny” (and its three-song digital EP), “Unblock Obstacles” and “Sun Inspector,” which earned early praise via Stereogum, Brooklyn VeganUnder the Radar, Ghettoblaster, Northern Transmissions and more. Giddy Skelter is available for pre-order HERE.  

Kinsella and Pulse have spent years making thoughtful and unpredictable art, whether musically as Joan of Arc or Spa Moans, or under their given names as writers and visual artists. To assemble Giddy Skelter, they aggressively trimmed their tracklist until they had a lean and impactful 11 songs, unlike anything either musician has released before. By mixing live instrumentation with samples so manipulated it’s impossible to identify their origins, Kinsella and Pulse create music that feels both eerily familiar, yet inarguably the product of their effort, a testament to their exacting process.

The title Giddy Skelter alludes to both Gimme Shelter, the infamous documentary about the Rolling Stones’ disastrous Altamont free concert and the Manson Family’s Helter Skelter scenario. “In my mind, it’s this period at the end of the dream, the end of the 60s, the idea of this utopia,” Kinsella says. “Now, with lingering pandemic and its consequences, rising authoritarianism, looming climate catastrophe, these unsustainable levels of anxiety and chaos, the eras feel similarly apocalyptic.

And there’s another dimension to the title: It can be interpreted alchemically, combining two of the most popular songs in rock history—“Gimme Shelter” and “Helter Skelter”—both of which have sinister associations that give them greater gravity. Sometimes the thing that makes great rock n’ roll is the ineffable and the intangible, something you can only describe as alchemy; other times it’s the rigors of process. On Kinsella and Pulse’s Giddy Skelter, it’s both — and it sounds unlike anything else you’ll hear this year.

Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse Live Dates:

9/05 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s (supporting Spirit of the Beehive)
09/09 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
10/05 – Detroit, MI – Lager House
10/12 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory


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