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Music Songwriting

k.d. lang's Ingenue

by (author) Joanna McNaney Stein

Bloomsbury Academic
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Songwriting, General, Country & Bluegrass
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

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Canadian performer k.d. lang broke new ground in the 1980s by blending the genres of punk and country, dubbed "cowpunk," with her band, the Reclines. Despite Grammy-award-winning recordings and frequent North American TV spots, mainstream country radio excluded lang from airplay due to her unconventional gender presentation and perceived sexuality. Not until lang's 1992 pop albumIngénue, the release of the single "Constant Craving," and her subsequent coming out inThe Advocatedid lang earn critical acclaim worldwide. The book addresses lang's rise to fame after switching genres, the successful reinvention of her sound and persona, and how she found herself immersed in the whirlwind of MTV and the "lesbian chic" aesthetic of 1990s pop culture. As an LGBTQ author, Joanna McNaney Stein discusses her adolescence and sexual development by weaving in short narrative prose pieces with her analysis of lang andIngénue.Also included are interviews with lang's musical collaborators:Ingénueco-writer Ben Mink, drummer Fred Eltringham, pianist Daniel Clarke, and singer-songwriter Laura Veirs.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Joanna McNaney Steinis a writer and an Assistant Professor of English at the City University of New York, Kingsborough. Her creative work has appeared inShort Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, PopMatters, Bust, LGBTQ Nation, The Brooklyn Rail,and the satiricalHard Times.Twitter/Instagram @joannafolk