January 25, 2011

Sonny Smith's Earth Girl Helen Brown Gets Vinyl Release

Sonny Smith is set to release more songs from his massive 100 Records project, this time from the spacey 60s-inspired R&B of fictionalized group Earth Girl Helen Brown. As on the Sonny & The Sandwitches release, Smith is again accompanied here by the Sandwitches' Heidi Alexander. Blogger label Forest Family will release the six-song 10" EP from the duo March 1st, but you can pre-order the vinyl goods now.

Here's the Earth Girl backstory courtesy of Smith: Helen Brown was born in Vancouver, Canada, but raised in an Athens, Georgia-based religious cult, and was blinded in one eye from a childhood baseball injury. As an adult, she dropped out of Evergreen and traveled the country for a while as a nomadic psychedelic folksinger, before forming her first band One Eyed Tramps. For years, she lived alone in a mountaintop in southern Alaska, where she befriended a Cherokee Shaman (later revealed as a fake) who encouraged her to pursue a frustrating academic career. Rampant drug use, frequent fainting on stage, and occasional self-inflicted knife wounds on stage led to more interest in her stage antics than her music. However, a few sides did emerge in the late ’90s (recording dates unknown), which feature a unique mix of country, girl group, R&B, and ghoulishness. Crude and amateurish at best, these recordings are appreciated for their sincerity and intensity of feeling.

Earth Girl Helen Brown - "Hit After Hit" (from Story of An Earth Girl)

Earth Girl Helen Brown - "I Wanna Do It" (from 100 Records Vol. 2)


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