PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


The Bird and the Bee's Inara George and 'The Youth of Angst'

Photo: Inara George (Self Portrait) / Courtesy of Fanatic Promotion

Inara George's The Youth of Angst is a three-song bundle that looks back as a way of moving forward during troubled times.

The Youth of Angst
Inara George

Release Me Records

5 June 2020

There are a lot of threes in rock and roll. There are lots of groovy three-piece bands, like the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. There are lots of wonderful triple albums, including the original Woodstock soundtrack, Joanna Newsom's Have One on Me, and Tom Waits' Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. More recently, some artists such as Rosie Flores have begun streaming weekly three-song sets. Flores's show is called "3s a Charm" and can be heard every Wednesday evening at 6:30 CDT.

The Bird and the Bee's Inara George has gotten into the act recently. She's released what she calls "a bundle of new songs" titled The Youth of Angst that consists of three separate tracks: "Sex in Cars", "Brother", and "1973". George said of these songs, "I wanted to write from the perspective of my younger self, but also with the idea that I could never actually have that perspective again." That's a bit of a contradiction, but George finds the present situation a tough place from which to view the world with fresh imagination. She looks back as a way of seeing forward, albeit with a sense of worry.

After all, the trilogy is called The Youth of Angst and captures the anxiety of someone who knows where her life is headed and maybe doesn't want to go there. For example, she penned "1973" for a friend who lost a child, and the song honors the dead son, his mother, and the relationship between George and her friend. There are coy references to taking acid and Ecstasy, shared secrets, and "things that can never be known" while a string section plays formally in the background. There is a sense of calm in the center of sorrow.

George offers a love song to her "Brother" because of his friendship and loyalty. The lyrics recall the past when she was small rather than being expressed by the kid she was. As such, George sings knowing time has moved on. There's a slashing guitar lick that moves things forward as we hear about the one who will always be there.

George wrote "Sex in Cars" at the behest of creative artist Terry Allen who asked her to be part of an art installation for the Contemporary Austin art museum. It's more whimsical than the other two tracks and treats the topic as a source of obsessive pleasure. Who needs a place when one can pull over to the side of the road and do it anytime, anywhere? George recorded several different versions of this track with Wendy Wang (who produced the other two cuts), but George ended up using the original demo that she first sent Allen. That gives the song a pure vibe, a more innocent tone despite the topic at hand. She's just a girl in love with making love in an automobile ("You don't have to start it up to go real far") with her special one.

The Youth of Angst is the first in a planned series of bundled releases. It's kind of an odd duck, somewhere between a single and an EP. George is using the power of three as a way of dealing with the depressingly weird situation in which we currently live. We no longer live in the age of anxiety, and the 45-year-old George is no longer a youth. That doesn't mean she can't use her past to create in the present moment.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.