lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: shed your skin


1997-09: no boundaries - indigos girls cut loose, acoustic guitar:

"the song 'shed your skin' was built from the bottom up [from a drum loop]. that was the whole purpose of the song."

1997-12: indigo girls - amy ray, curve:

"i wrote 'shed your skin' after my breakup with my ex about how important it is to go do your thing and celebrate it and celebrate yourself. the growth we experience through all that pain is really important. the indian stuff enters into it because it was happening at the same time and there were some of the same sentiments. my dedication to activism took away from my relationship. i found it important to say, 'look, what i've been involved with has given me some freedom in my heart and soul that i've never experience. you should find the same thing.' "

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2014-12-02: es.1996, official indigo girls "a year a month blog" on tumblr:

there were other new musical avenues for me that came to life on shaming. i wrote my first song on banjo, "get out the map." i wrote it in the same living room as i had previously written "galileo." i was learning that picking up a different instrument brought a completely different song. i never would have written "get out the map" on guitar, and i never would have written "cara mia" on acoustic guitar. i found the chords to "leeds" on a piano. the experience from that dark trip to england had been literally brooding in me for a couple of years, but when i stumbled on those chords, they found their way out. and that was the first song i wrote on piano. i don't even remember the chords now. i'm not a piano player. but it was a huge step in expanding musically to pick up a new instrument and write with it, even if i didn't play it well and certainly not properly. around this time, amy and i were broadening our sound palette with harmonica, mandolin, banjo, piano, dulcimer, and more than ever, electric guitar. i also remember when amy chose a hip-hop loop to run through "shed your skin," an absolutely new twist and turn for amy's music. "leeds" is and may always be the only song we ever played a hurdy gurdy on.

we had met the group ulali (jennifer kreisberg, soni moreno, and pura fe crescioni) through honor the earth activism, and what they brought to shaming of the sun is more than i can attempt to describe. they shook "shed your skin," made "leeds" completely haunting, and brought all of the life to "burn all the letters." amy and i loved and love them as fierce native activists and strong women. there are moments during making a record when i can't believe my good fortune that an artist has joined us. and then there is ulali!!!! they possess me to crank the volume full blast whenever their parts come up.

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2015-02-27: amy ray of indigo girls, song facts:

songfacts: let's talk about some indigo girls songs you wrote. the first one is "shed your skin." when you think of that song what comes to mind?

amy: usually i think of that band, ulali - they did background vocals on that and influenced the direction of that song so much. and then i think of tom morello because he did a remake of it. it's really cool.

but i just wrote that about evolution and growth in a person. just, break free. it was also to dissolve myself stylistically into another realm of music that i really like: rock and punk, patti smith, and all these artists that are not in the indigo girls world. i wanted to experiment with that stuff. that was one of the first songs that was written that way.


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