I think KD Lang knew I was gay before I did. Or perhaps it’s just that her music spoke to a part of my brain that knew who I truly was long before I really properly figured it out. I became obsessed with the beautiful, introspective Ingenue in 1993. There was a very particular type of yearning and sadness expressed that struck a chord with me and lodged itself in my musical mind - it has coloured my songwriting ever since.
Musically - the whole record blew (and still blows) my mind. Warm and sort of soupy sounding, with such intricately thought-out orchestration, instrumentation, melody and counter-melody, with KD’s effortlessly silky vocals floating over the top - it was almost too beautiful. I remember vividly a friend (who shall remain nameless), drunkenly exclaiming: ‘turn it off! it’s too sexy!!’ - seeming genuinely disturbed that if she listened to the whole record, she’d be a bona fide lady lover by the end of it. KD was a confuser in those days.
From Save Me to Outside Myself - the album aches with slow-burning desire. Then in an instant, the tension dissipates with the perfectly placed tempo of Constant Craving; melancholy expressed in the most joyful way possible - and so outrageously catchy. I’m quite envious really, of how she expresses the joy and pain of loving another woman so artfully - and still manages to wrap it all up into a little over four minutes of pop perfection.
KD created a blueprint for female singer/songwriters like myself who came after her. Realising it’s okay to express sadness and longing and desire without pandering to the male gaze was (and is) liberating. KD did it all with such style - and she wore the best suits and looked like Elvis. Constant Craving is, and will always be, my favourite pop song of all time. It’s faultless.