Kristin Recommends: “Guttermouth” by Bree Sharp

When you hear the name Bree Sharp, you might remember her catchy 1999 ode to David Duchovny, replete with references to Area 51 and a promise to remove Scully from the equation, so to speak. Of course I love this song — and her whole debut album — but the quintessential Bree Sharp song has to be “Guttermouth.”

This song speaks to my own lady rage — it’s a way-too relevant anthem for those of us here in 2018 using, let’s say, a strong vocabulary to address our audiences. I don’t know how I became the poet who throws around the C-word and fights for more F-bombs in her essays, but here I am. It seems I’ve become increasingly impolite in my dealings with the world — which seems appropriate considering that impolite hardly describes the trash fire burning outside my window. And, as is illustrated in “Guttermouth,” it’s especially hot out there for women and femmes. I can’t help but love a song that, in the face of violence and oppression, celebrates shirking politeness in favor of beautiful, girlish profanity.

Every line in “Guttermouth” is strengthened by poetic ingenuity and tongue-twisters — the sort of lyrics that reveal a new cleverness every time you listen. The song is both sugar rush and bitter, spitting truth with hooky guitar and a voice shivering halfway into a sneer. Bree Sharp is the singer-songwriter you’d find somewhere between the sweetness of Lisa Loeb and the righteousness of Tracy Bonham with a mouth “full of asterisks” that won’t be fixed as she lays down her cultural critiques. And I am 100% here for it.

While I’m consistently surprised that Bree Sharp doesn’t have twice as many albums as she does, and that she didn’t quite achieve that household name status that we saw for other 90s alternative girls like PJ Harvey and Fiona Apple, what we do have from Ms. Sharp is 1. a fun reminder that not much has, in fact, changed since 1999 and 2. continued permission to keep our mouths perfectly dirty. Most of all, she leaves me with this sentiment: Anyone uncomfortable with a girl making that hairpin turn out of the ladylike lane and into the demolition derby needs to get the fuck out of her way immediately.

(Song Recommendation by E. Kristin Anderson)

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