Brokendoll: A Mixtape For Nicole Dollanganger


(Kiefer Sutherland photographed by Veronique Vial, 2001.)

“I go bottom
Struggle for air
I go humming
‘Like A Prayer'”

~ Mike Hadreas, “My Body”

In August I discovered Nicole Dollanganger via an announcement on Grimes‘ Tumblr about her upcoming album, Natural Born Losers. Little did I know I would be listening to one of the best songwriters I’ve encountered in years. She seems incapable of writing something that isn’t interesting or bad and her music sums up one of my favorite Tom Waits quotes, “I love beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”

I wanted to make her a present but she won’t be touring close enough to see her, so I thought, “What else can I do?” Then I started to wonder what a Nicole Dollanganger Pandora station would sound like. Slowly other pieces in my collection began to answer back, in some cases like they were her unknown fairy godmothers: visceral lyrics, lo-fi distortion, sexual obsession, circus freaks, a reference to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer,” a recording of a 911 call and the occasional reference to an unnerving film (Mister Lonely, Under The Skin). Before long I had a list of Dollanganger-inspired songs, preferable for headphones during a long walk or a bus ride to nowhere.

I supposed it was the least I could do to pay tribute to an artist with sensibilities close to my own. And a thank you for her cover of “Mercy Street.” That was just what I needed.

Download Brokendoll here (via Box)

1) Rachel Korine – “Hangman, Hangman (The Gallows Pole)” (from Mister Lonely, 2007)
2) Chelsea Wolfe – “I Let Love In” (exclusive for V Magazine, 2011)
3) Adam Green – “No Legs” (from Friends Of Mine, 2003)
4) Kurt Cobain – “They Hung Him On A Cross” (from With The Lights Out, 2004)
5) Crystal Castles – “Mother Knows Best” (from Doe Deer, 2011)
6) CocoRosie – “Honey Or Tar” (from Noah’s Ark, 2005)
7) Stina Nordenstam – “Under Your Command” (from Dynamite, 1996)
8) Cool Angels – “Are U Real?” (from Demure, 2011)
9) Lisa Germano – “…A Psychopath” (from Geek The Girl, 1994)
10) Perfume Genius – “My Body” (from Too Bright, 2014)
11) Tom Waits – “Poor Edward” (from Alice, 2002)
12) Marissa Nadler – “Daisy & Violet” (from Songs III: Bird On The Water (Bonus Material), 2007)
13) Mica Levi – “Love” (from Under The Skin, 2014)
14) Annie Lennox – “No More ‘I Love Yous'” (from Medusa, 1995)
15) Sibylle Baier – “The End” (from Colour Green, 2006)


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