“Why have you never visited these corners of your mind?” Shirley Manson asks herself of the music she wrote for Garbage’s sixth album, Strange Little Birds. The reason? She still needed to “grow some balls.” And grown them she has (not that they weren’t always there–considering her storied history of bad assery), as made evident on the first single, “Empty,” a moody track that remains as true to Garbage’s roots of grunge as ever.
Manson laments about her usual problem, an object of affection who seems immune to her charms as she admits, “You’re all I think about” while belting her heart out against the background of neon lights and a band that is equally impervious to her plight. Wearing a fur coat and a pink purse over her arm at the beginning of the video, Manson exudes all the same grunge glamor of the 90s and early 00s (yes, she was carrying it on to the new decade). Pink hair, fishnets and white boots–capped off by a mod-looking dress–put the final touch on Manson’s eternal style, and an earnestness that she evokes whole-heartedly by basking in the phrase, “I’m so empty.”
What also makes Garbage’s newest addition their catalogue unique is the fact that, unlike bands they came up with, including Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Figthers, there is something more timeless, yet progressive about their sound. The motif of emptiness is also extremely applicable to the current age, one in which screens our are friends and emotions are not. Perhaps this is why Manson touts, “I rail and I ache against the monsters and the demons I’ve wrestled with for eons, and I want to destroy.” If only more people of the post-Garbage generation felt that way.