Back in the good old days of horrific torture, dunking stools and burning pyres, there became a tried and trusted way to gauge one’s honesty. More specifically, the method of testing a person (nearly always female) as to their secret life as a witch or goblin of the Great Beast. By inserting a pin or similarly sharp object into select areas of the person’s flesh, lack of a reaction to the pain would be viewed as irrefutable evidence of their guilt. Naturally, these folk being of such a sunny disposition, the pins would often be house in retractable devices, ensuring their bloodlust could be satiated. The moral of this tale? Check your pins and needles. Also, be aware that it is often those closest to you who can inflict the most pain.
Enter Heather O’Neill, not a witch, before you ask (or maybe we should ask, just to be sure?) but a hugely talented singer-songwriter in the Tori Amos-mould who has taken the idea of this ancient practice and dragged it into the 21st Century. Pricking a Witch is a track you should certainly be looking out for (it’s released on March 15th, so not too long to wait), not just for its lyrical subject-matter but also the heady atmospherics. Based in Chicago, Heather’s music is filled with dark humour, rasping satire and plenty of pith and vim. We like!