Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The lonely and calculated cry of Scout Niblett's guitar playing has always felt like some all-knowing overcast sky. It's felt as if it were hinting at things that we likely were never going to figure out in a million years. Notes would bend and they'd just go on disguising themselves, hiding behind trees and garbage canisters. They would grow hazy or become invisible altogether and we'd be left with their reverberations and holding their purse, watching the clock for some kind of return. She's always seemed rather mysterious in her ways, but it could just be because it was our fault, not hers. We want her to be that way, to remain just as she is, sorta cooing to us and sorta putting a spell on us at the same time.
With a song like "Bargain," the spell has been put on her, but it's one that she asked for, one that she gave something of herself in order to make true. It's something of an age reversal procedure that was procured through a deal with the devil, or someone who works with potions and the black magic. It's going to reverse the aging process and allow her to shrink back into being an infant, back to before she was an infant. She sings about just wanting to be allowed to play in the morning, to not have to wake up early (not to have to set an alarm at all) and just play with dolls, blocks and markers.
She sings, quoting others, "You're not a girl anymore/But becoming a child/Is what I'm waiting for." The playing begins with what we can only assume is run of the mill horsing around, role-playing, etc. and then Niblett takes it somewhere else when she sings, "Let me play in the mother." It's at this point that she returns to the womb to be that unborn baby that the expectant pregnant women feels pressing on her bladder and kicking through her innards. It's the unborn being that has no known face, no known features, no known characteristics and is thought of simply as a knot of moving parts. It's what Niblett wants to be, for then. It surely couldn't be a lasting desire, for the claustrophobia - once you've seen what it's like without it - would be too damned much. Or, everything would be just as she hoped it would be - a nice, warm place where yearning and guilt could live in balmy temperatures good enough for more inconclusiveness.
Scout Niblett Official Site
Drag City Records