Kleenex Girl Wonder aka Graham Smith releases his second album ‘White Lacuna’ this week. We are debuting the track ‘The History of Ice’ teetering between rattlingly catchy and discordant this song taps away at the iced over frozen emotions that we swallow down injected into a radio-friendly anthem that wouldn’t be out of place on an XTC album. As Smith explains himself:
“The History of Ice” – There were not supposed to be so many Shakespeare riffs on this album, but there are, and they start right at the beginning. Why wait? Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow… anyway, this song is about a book (kind of like the DSM, updated in vast, delicate cycles) called “The History of Ice” which covers frozen water and chilly emotions from stem to stern. It is unique in the KGW repertory in that it uses a different key for verse, pre-chorus, and chorus, and even throws a fourth key in in the coda. That’s entertainment!
Graham Smith’s second Kleenex Girl Wonder novella in 2018 is not just another breakup album. Of course, anyone who’s spent 25 years stuffing the interstices between hooks and riffs with colloquial wit likely knows far more about lacunae than most. But on White Lacuna, Smith shows us that the gap between two people doesn’t crack open overnight – and the space in between may not be as dark as you think.
A white lacuna? That’s right. White, like the ice that settles into nooks and pushes two halves apart. White, like the colorless light that pours out of the opening. White, like the healing hoodoo of benevolent witches and wizards. White like a white lie, an omission to avoid hurt, or at least confrontation. White-out brushed over a typo – a palimpsest. “Talk about apocatastasis,” as Smith says. Through 22 pages of lyrics, KGW steers us through the natural fissures that creep into the joints, as both parties in the union realize that the split was long overdue.
As you delve into the latest KGW chronicle, consider: even when the bouts and bickering widen the chasm, does the illusion of a bridge ever fade away? Maybe love is magic, but then so is magical thinking. The beauty of White Lacuna lies in how Smith can dissect – and find dignity in – the gap.