If you read the bio of Strangled Darlings on the duo's Web site, you'll get a hint of tension between capitalized Art and something at the other end of the spectrum entirely.
First: "Jess and George met at party in 2009, with their spontaneous duet of the Prince song 'Pussy Control.'"
Then: "The songs work with nontraditional subjects for inspiration. Some song subjects include : the works of great authors (Faulkner, William Blake, Gabriel García Márquez, Donald Barthelme, Anna Akhmatova) as well as witchcraft in the Civil War, the morality of Somali piracy, and the media impact of Neil Armstrong."
Into that mix you can throw in a clear understanding of the crass realities of the decentralized modern music business - the need to get attention, and an acknowledgment that emerging bands have to tour relentlessly to build an audience.
All three of those basic elements are evident on the song "Kill Yourself," from the upcoming album Boom Stomp King. It's a bright, cheery ditty on the one hand, with the title and matching refrain designed to generate maximum curiosity.
In a recent phone interview, singer/songwriter/mandolinist George Veech acknowledged some less-than-pure motives behind the song. "The biggest fear of an artist is to not have an audience, to not be heard. I know damn well that saying 'Kill Yourself' is taboo in a lot of ways, and I'm not advocating [that]," he said. "It helps get attention. I got your attention now, and then let's talk about the actual details."