Saturday, December 22, 2007

Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)

A seminal moment in the Pulp discography. The first release of the post-It band, “Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)” unveils a new lineup with an almost wholly different aesthetic.

For the first time on record, Jarvis is supported by two key collaborators: keyboardist Candida Doyle and guitarist-violinist Russell Senior. Doyle plays what would become her trademark instrument, the Farfisa organ. (She also provides one of her rare harmony vocal performances.) Meanwhile, Senior’s art-damaged avant garde impulses make an especially noteworthy mark here; what might have been another of Jarvis’ gentle, Velvet Underground-influenced ballads is given a stark undertow thanks to Russell’s queasily amateurish violin playing.

But Jarvis too has evolved on this song. After the fey innocence of It, the sharp, grim perspective of “Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)” is pretty shocking. “There’s a hole in your heart/And one between your legs,” he sings in the chorus. “You’ve never had to wonder which one he’s going to fill/In spite of what he said.” For the first time in his career, Jarvis has unveiled here his talent for a savage turn of phrase. Making the song even darker, Jarvis is singing here about his own mother, describing her pregnancy with him, which led to her marrying the father, a reportedly less-than-dependable man, and abandoning her aspirations to become an artist.

In the ‘90s and beyond, “Little Girl (With Blue Eyes) was possibly the early song the band played most often. Here is a performance by Jarvis, Candida, Russell and the rest of the Different Class-era lineup on British television.

No comments: