Advertisement

Album Review: Karen Meat — She’s Drunk Like the Rest of Us EP


Karen Meat

She’s Drunk Like the Rest of Us EP
karenmeat.bandcamp.com

Karen Meat is a pop genius. Karen Meat sings a lot about barf. Karen Meat is not her real name — Arin Eaton is. If you peruse her music on Bandcamp, you’ll hear someone with an impeccable ear for pop music, and an appealing voice, which has a bit of Miley Cyrus’ nasal edge, the better to cut through lush keyboard & Omnichord arrangements.

She’s Drunk Like the Rest of Us is the product of her first recording sessions at Flat Black Studio, produced by Dana Telsrow. The songs are still based around programmed drums and software synths, but the album is filled out with Telsrow’s guitar & bass. “Doowop” is a full band track featuring Curt Oren on saxophone, Justin LeDuc on drums and Brendan Spengler on keyboards. The song sounds a bit like ’50s rock & roll, but updated with Eaton’s lyrical weirdness: “I’ve dismissed from my mind/What it is like to feel alive.”

Karen Meat’s deadpan brings to mind Sarah Vowell, if Sarah Vowell sang, and was a character in a Todd Solondz movie. In “Sad,” she sings, “I want to barf on you/I hate what you put me through,” which is emotionally direct and inappropriate. In “6-12-16” she sings, “I probably should seek some professional help. Instead I will medicate myself.”

I’d be worried about Eaton, but she combines an almost cinematic artifice with her surprising bluntness. Karen Meat is a character, a girl with no filters and a bit of a drinking problem, a regular Dawn Weiner. The perfectly damaged pop music of her previous releases is still present, but more fully realized in Telsrow’s ambitious production and arrangements. At the end of “Sad,” she sings, “I’ll admit I’m sad,” trailing off into rattly vocal fry. It feels like it’s over too soon and you want to hear more.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 211.


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

July 2020 marks Little Village’s 19th anniversary. With our community of readers alongside us, we’ll be ready for what the next 19 have in store.

BECOME A SUPPORTER:

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.