[Mad Men spoilers ahead. If you haven’t watched Mad Men by now, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but consider this your warning.]
One of the most iconic burns on Mad Men, a series full of iconic burns, belongs to Dr. Faye Miller, Don Draper’s season 4 love interest. Upon learning he’s ending their healthy adult relationship and has opted to spontaneously propose to his secretary instead, Dr. Faye declares, “I hope she knows you only like the beginning of things.” It’s a ruthlessly honest assessment of one of TV’s most charismatic assholes.
I thought of this line instantly when, midway through the lead single from her new album, Ziemba sang, “I don’t wanna think about the end/ I want only beginnings.” The song is called “If I’m Being Honest,” and it puts Ziemba — aka El Paso singer, songwriter, and producer René Kladzyk — on the receiving end of a breakup. “I wish I had control over this,” she admits. “It makes me feel very small.” So she’s playing the Dr. Faye role in this particular interaction, but she’s fessing up to a very Don-like impulse to gravitate to those halcyon moments before everything goes wrong.
This all happens within the context of a New Age soft-rock power ballad like a half-remembered dream of Cyndi Lauper and Sophie B. Hawkins. It’s astonishing, and quite surprising coming from Sister Polygon, the largely punk-oriented label that will release Ziemba’s True Romantic next month. The title track is also out today, a bright and strummy but still ethereal offering with a music video directed by Ralph Diaz. Check out both songs below.
01 “If I’m Being Honest”
02 “True Romantic”
03 “Harbor Me”
04 “Bad Love”
05 “Feelings Are Real”
06 “You Feel Like Paradise”
09 “Casket And Cradle”
10 “Power of Love”
True Romantic is out 9/25 on Sister Polygon. Pre-order it here.