Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse Share “Nena”

Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse Photo by Marzena Abrahamik

Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse will release their tense and gorgeous ballad “Nena,” the final single previewing their forthcoming debut LP for Kill Rock Stars, Giddy Skelter, due out September 8th. One of the album’s most honest and vulnerable tracks, “Nena” will arrive alongside news of more shows and a surreal video directed by Jonathan van Herik that follows a vampire’s birthday.

While the video’s protagonist is in fact not the song’s titular character, director van Herik explained his concept: “‘Nena’ drifts through memories and time in an attempt to find meaning and connections in the chaos of everyday life. What seems simple at first becomes illusory and hard to grasp as time and memory melt together. Do vampires celebrate birthdays?”

Kinsella explained the song’s lyrics and origins:

“Thanks to the many chance operations that we relied on to guide our processes, the music for “Nena” got attached to the song “Vera” from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. After fate determined such attachments, we’d ask ourselves how exactly to make the connection. It could be a half-time outro or inserting a melodic guitar solo. In this case we went with the obvious and followed the name.

We needed a name that was both melodious and that neither of us had any personal associations with. We agreed on the name “Nena” & then the association became “99 Red Balloons.” Addressing that Nena, as determined by the song “Vera,” meant this song was not a cover, but a song about a song.

But then there was another chance operation to apply. This directive was to plainly state the most difficult and painful fact we could think of and make it fit melodically somewhere on the album. And this is the song where that line landed. Its inclusion then shifted the song’s ‘narrative’ with another twist.

We did not mention any of this to the director Jonathan van Herik at any point during the making of the video. Not because we were being coy, but just cuz it never even occurred to us as relevant, let alone necessary, for him to realize his own ideas of what the song means to him.”

The married duo have also expanded their initial set of album release shows this fall to include a hometown release show at Chicago’s Empty Bottle on September 9th and Detroit’s Lager House on October 5th, in addition to their recently announced gig at NYC’s Knitting Factory on October 12th. They’ll also support Spirit of the Beehive at Cleveland’s Mahall’s on September 5th; more shows will soon be announced.

Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse Live Dates:

9/05 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s (supporting Spirit of the Beehive)
09/09 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
10/05 – Detroit, MI – Lager House
10/12 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory

Pre-order Giddy Skelter HERE.


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