Advice from Neil Young to Kim Gordon + her journey from Sonic Youth to 'The Collective'

Kim Gordon recently opened up about advice she received fronm Neil Young, plus details about her new experimental electropnic music projects.

Neil Young's 18th Annual Bridge School Benefit - Day Two
Neil Young's 18th Annual Bridge School Benefit - Day Two / Tim Mosenfelder/GettyImages

Kim Gordon, the renowned former frontwoman of "no wave" band Sonic Youth, reminisced about a pivotal piece of advice she received from none other than folk-rock legend Neil Young. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gordon, now 70, disclosed that Young's wisdom on songwriting left an indelible mark on her creative journey. She recounted Young's emphasis on authenticity over vocal prowess, highlighting the enduring significance of his words. Reflecting on her collaboration with Young during the '90s, particularly during Sonic Youth's joint tour with Crazy Horse, Gordon cherished the insight bestowed upon her.

Young also had good things to say about Sonic Youth in the past, including his decision to have them open for him: "I wanted to get somebody that people were going to love or hate. And I think we did a good job there. Sonic Youth are way out there on the cutting edge with what they're doing. And it's also extremely similar to what we've been doing for a long time" (as quoted by a Neil Young fan archive site).

Though the exact timing of this sage counsel remains unspecified, its resonance echoes throughout Gordon's upcoming endeavors, notably her impending release of her second solo album, The Collective. Departing from Sonic Youth's signature no-wave sound, Gordon delves into experimental electronica in her solo work, a departure she attributes to her distinctive vocal range and rhythmic sensibilities. She elaborated on her creative process, underscoring a newfound freedom in expression and an unbridled exploration of themes. Released on March 8 via Matador Records, The Collective marks Gordon's follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, No Home Record, released in 2019.

Kim Gordon's future

With the lead single "BYE BYE" (not to be confused with the Backstreet Boys or Marshmello/Juice WRLD track) already unveiled in January, anticipation mounted for the album's arrival, accompanied by tracks like "THE MAN" (not to be confused with the Taylor Swift song) and "Psychedelic Orgasm."

In celebration of the album's release, Gordon plans a series of six live performances across the United States, spanning venues from Burlington, Vermont, to San Francisco, California. This milestone follows Gordon's foray into individual projects, including her bestselling memoir "Girl in a Band." Regarding that book, comedian Amy Poehler said: “Kim Gordon writes the way she plays. Fiercely, honestly, and with the creative abandon of a singular artist.”

Obviously, Gordon has had success as she navigates her artistic evolution post-Sonic Youth. The dissolution of Sonic Youth in 2011, catalyzed by Gordon's separation and subsequent divorce from bandmate Thurston Moore in 2013, marked the end of an era for the iconic group. Despite the personal upheaval, Gordon continues to carve her path as a multifaceted artist, leaving an enduring legacy in the annals of alternative rock history.