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Grant Hart: an American music trailblazer

We must mark the passing of American musician Grant Hart, who died September 14 of liver cancer and hepatitis complications aged 56. One of two songwriters along with Bob Mould in the enduring Hüsker Dü, Hart helped redefine the American punk and hardcore music scene in exploring vulnerability and feelings far beyond its angsty origins and challenged its strictures by injecting acoustic guitars, pop melody and psychedelic overlays into their thrash n’ burn sound. These moves were all aped by the likes of R.E.M, The Pixies and Nirvana, shoring up new directions for American rock music that Hüsker Dü pushed up from the underground with relentless touring and an unassailable catalogue to grow influence by stealth. Hart followed up with the expansive Nova Mob following the dissolution of Hüsker Dü and continued his elastic and exploratory approach to songwriting with the intimate solo album Intolerance. Ever reflective in a scene dominated by hard and fast change and its surrounding, often cruelling industry, Grant Hart’s path was truly his own.

Prime yourself on Hüsker Dü’s double-album opus, Zen Arcade:

 

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