Poly Styrene, whose howl and unwillingness to be “seen and not heard” made her a heroine among many, has passed away after a battle with breast cancer. Born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, Styrene quickly became an iconic figure as frontwoman of the skronky X-Ray Spex; the way she paired incisive lyrics and a refusal to conform to societal standards with an awe-inspiring wail set the standard for the likes of Kathleen Hanna and Beth Ditto. Styrene’s new album Generation Indigo, produced by Youth, comes out today in the U.S.; in an interview with eMusic, she said of her decision to return to recording, “I just channel my songs like a medium. Who knows why, but they just come through me, and they’re for sharing. I sing them to my friends, and if my friends like them, then I’m quite happy that they’re good songs.”After the jump, videos from her X-Ray Spex years, as well as a track from Generation Indigo.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 26, 2011