Springtime – the collaborative project of Gareth Liddiard (Tropical Fuck Storm), Jim White (Dirty Three) and Chris Abrahams (The Necks) – have shared the second single from their forthcoming, self-titled debut.
‘The Viaduct Love Suicide’ is a haunting slow-burner that’s considerably sparer and more restrained than last month’s frenzied ‘Will to Power’, primarily anchored a sombre piano line courtesy of Abrahams and Liddiard’s spoken-word delivery.
The lyrics were penned by Liddiard’s uncle Ian Duhig, an award-winning poet. They depict a true story “of a woman in the UK who had a disabled child,” according to a summary provided by David Yow of The Jesus Lizard.
“She jumped off a bridge with her son in her arms,” Yow writes. “The press were saying she was fucked for doing such a thing, so Ian wrote the poem showing she was not.”
Watch an accompanying performance video, directed by Matt McGuigan, below:
Duhig explained in an accompanying statement that he wrote the poem in the Japanese love-suicide style – including quoting the first two lines of Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s play The Love Suicides at Sonezaki – because “it is a tradition more forgiving of this desperate act,” and because “the events inspiring it were so heartbreaking, they overwhelmed [his] attempts to treat it more directly.”
“I was working recently with an NHS employee, married to another NHS employee, trying to raise their autistic child,” Duhig said.
“Despite being at the heart of this vast care organisation, the pressures of caring destroyed their marriage and led to her eventually jumping to her death with her child in her arms, who also died, at a beauty spot already too well-known for such sad departures.
“I have met many women NHS staff in danger of – or actually being on – a treadmill of caring at work and at home with their own needs crushed, sometimes with tragic results. This poem is dedicated to them, and to the memory of Helen Rogan.”
Springtime announced their self-titled debut album last month alongside ‘Will to Power’. It followed the release of the live version of a non-album track, ‘Penumbra’, back in May. The album is set to land on November 5 via Liddiard’s own TFS Records imprint, in tandem with Joyful Noise Recordings.