Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rest In Peace, Poly (Poly Styrene 1957 - 2011)

One of the greats has died.

Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer last night, the night before her triumphant new album, Generation Indigo was to be released in America.

When I asked her press team for a copy of that album to review for this blog, I asked about interviewing Poly. I asked on a whim so I was very pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago when they agreed to the e-mail interview.

I e-mailed my questions to the PR person last week and never heard back.

Maybe one day I'll post those questions here. For now, go get Poly Styrene's Generation Indigo as it's a great record and a clear presentation of all of the things that made her such a great artist.

The BBC has details on her death here.

The press e-mail today had this to say:

Poly Styrene was a punk amongst punks. A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!” The influence of Poly and X-ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. Their landmark album Germ Free Adolescents is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the center of it was Poly Styrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.

At the core of Poly’s work from Germ Free Adolescents through Generation Indigo, is a revolutionary with a genuine love for this world and the people and things in it. Her indomitable heart is all over the new material from her championing of cruelty free products (“I Luv Ur Sneakers”) to giving voice to marginalized poor people worldwide (“No Rockefeller”) to tackling racism (“Colour Blind”). Poly Styrene never stopped exciting us with her incisive world-view, amazing wit, and her adventurous sound. It is impossible to imagine what modern music would be like without her incalculable contributions but it’s probably not worth imagining a world that never had Poly Styrene in it.

A thrilling work from a true pioneer and rebel in every sense, Poly Styrene’s album Generation Indigo is out now through Future Noise Music and was produced by Youth (The Verve, Killing Joke, The Fireman, Edwyn Collins). The album received rave reviews from Uncut, NME, The Guardian and countless others across the Atlantic. The forward looking Generation Indigo showcases Poly’s humorous musings on pop culture, the internet and fashion whilst also tackling heavier subject matter (war and racism) with her politically aware and intelligent lyrics all in the inimitable voice of a genuine icon. Listen to the full Generation Indigo record streaming on AOL Spinner.


In the US, you can order Generation Indigo on CD from Amazon here, and on a limited edition CD here, or as an MP3 download here.

In the US, you can order Generation Indigo on iTunes here.

Poly Styrene's official website is here.