- 20 Sep 17
As she prepares to play Dublin, Aimee Mann explains how the election of Donald Trump influenced her new album and why a glum evening in Ireland inspired her writing process.
Only after she had released her new album did the significance of the title became truly clear to Aimee Mann. Mental Illness had been intended as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the perception that her songs are populated by the dejected and the deranged. But the LP’s arrival coincided with the inauguration of Donald Trump and it occurred to Mann that the record could be interpreted as speaking to the travails afflicting America – a nation in the throes of an emotional meltdown.
“I connected those dots in an overt way,” nods the cult songwriter, speaking from her home in Los Angeles. “There is mental illness in the White House. It’s mostly what people talk about over here. Everybody has had to become more versed in politics. It feels like a matter of life and death – which I suppose it is. He’s crazy and volatile enough to make a very bad impulse decision.”
Mann has gone where few creative types would dare by trying to get inside Trump’s mind. She undertook this unnerving feat with the ballad ‘Can’t You Tell’, recorded for an anti-Trump project curated by novelist Dave Eggers.