Yesterday we saw Courtney Love in all her kooky Hollywood glory. But it’s easy to forget that beneath all the star stories, lies a pretty awesome rock star in her own right. Last week at the Henson Studios, we got to hear working versions of some of the songs that will end up on the new Hole album ‘Nobody’s Daughter’.
Courtney gives us a new sneak preview of ‘Samantha’ and ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ on the clip below. And to keep you going, here’s a sneak preview on some more of the songs set for the follow-up to ‘Celebrity Skin’.
The big first single. Originally tagged on the end of the Linda Perry sessions, its rockular nature inspired the direction that would lead to the resurrection of Hole. Powered by a Billy Corgan riff and firing from all nu-grunge cylinders the rest of the way, ‘Samantha’ announces Hole’s return doing what Courtney does best – skewering a hooker waitress/model actress who’s no better than she ought to be. “Watch her wrap her legs around this world”, snarls Courtney, as only she can.
A complete rewrite of the version that was played live on her UK tour (you can listen to a live version here). The album’s title track has been reborn as a ponderous squall coloured the gothest black.
‘Pacific Coast Highway’
One of the earliest songs on the session, toughened up from the Perry era, this confessional song is nonetheless one of the record’s more plaintive moments, in the vein of ‘Malibu’. Lyrically, it finally addresses the scars she still bears over her husband’s death in the most brutal fashion: “I knew a boy who came from the sea/he was the only boy who ever knew the truth about me… I knew a boy who left me so ravaged/do you even know the extent of the damage? … I’m overwhelmed and undersexed?/Baby what did you expect?/I’m overwrought and so disgraced/I’m too ashamed to show my face/And they’re coming to take me away now/what I want I will never have/I’m on the Pacific Coast Highway/With your gun in my hand”.
You can listen to a demo version below.
‘Skinny Little Bitch’
A balls-out, low-down dirty rock song, and as fine a signature tune for the new Hole as you could imagine. Tapping the same lyrical vein as ‘Samantha’, it’s The Stooges fronted by a Joan Jett re-imagined as the Bride Of Frankenstein. And it’s the sound of Courtney having fun.
The most powerful and the most bleak of all the songs. And possibly also the best. ‘Honey’ tells her and Kurt’s doomed love story in the most unflinching detail, without a single metaphor to act as safety net: “Did I not love you enough to save you from your doom?” It’s a dense, paranoid rock ballad with a minor-key chorus from hell itself: “He goes down, down to his bitter end…”.
‘Letter To God’
Courtney asked Linda Perry for ‘Beautiful’, the song that eventually went to Christina Aguilera. Instead she got this, a confessional power ballad from Perry’s box of hits, on which Love has the smallest of writing credits (for the line, “I never wanted to be some kind of comic relief”), Courtney has never forgotten the negative feedback from NME Editor Conor McNicholas about the song that “will keep baby in shoes,” but she isn’t budging. “You guys are the NME, you’re not supposed to like this song. I’d be worried if you did!”
‘For Once In Your Life’
Mellow and reflective, even a little bit folky. And in waltz time. This is Courtney indulging her Stevie Nicks side.
A raw and Dylanish dirge, telling an old fashioned love story between a girl and her meds. Stripped down and acoustic, ‘Codine’ isn’t finished yet, but it wears the scars of her recent experience in a hyper-real fantasy. Would be a shoo-in for album closer if it wasn’t for…
‘Never Go Hungry Again’
The ultimate rehab song! But also the ultimate survivor’s song. “My dress is torn and I’ve got no jewels/And I’m hungry for life a little less cruel”. ‘Never Go Hungry Again’ genuinely was written from the point of being broke and broken, and it’s a simple, stripped down defence of her indulgent Hollywood lifestyle, and a vow to never go back to the bad old days. The crazy new days are working just fine.
So, how are you feeling about the return of Hole and the prospect of ‘Nobody’s Daughter’? Share your comments below.