Love, Sweet, and Tears

The weird, womanly ways of Tulip Sweet and Her Trail of Tears

When the singer leaps up to demonstrate a childhood game of "horsy," which entails clutching her hands between her legs as she gallops about the room, she looks like a nymphet gone awry. "I think a lot of my songs have a bit of an ominous sexual energy," she says. "I want people to fear me a little bit. So I write songs about women who would say, 'I'm gonna go crazy on you.' I really like the idea of a woman losing her mind, when the chick freaks out on a cute guy and he gets his fucking ass kicked because she goes nuts. That's a persona I like to take part in. It turns me on."

Her bandmates laugh in appreciation: They seem to take Dickson's current lyrical obsessions as a natural extension of childish muses like unicorns and kissing trees. Her face flushed from the excitement of the game, Dickson finally sits back down. Her impish blue eyes look gleefully wicked. "One day, I really hope I'm released into madness," she says with no trace of irony.

McCormick replies with all the mock seriousness of a prophet, "You shall be released."

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