In the “People” section of the April 26, 1989 issue of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, the headline read, “It’s Full Speed Ahead for Local Indigo Girls.” The article below explained that the folk-rock duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers was on tour with REM, had an album that had gone gold, was about to appear on the David Letterman Show, and had plans to tour with both Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Furthermore, their first single “Closer to Fine” was scheduled to “be shipped to commercial radio stations nationally in late May.” That was thirty years ago today.
Other mentions in the Constitution from that summer shared that the Indigo Girls album had moved up to #74 on the Billboard charts by July, and in late August was at #55. As 1990 began, The Indigo Girls were Grammy-nominated, in the Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Folk Album categories. They won the award in the latter.
Though it never reached the top-ten on the Billboard charts, that album’s first single “Closer to Fine” may be one of the most influential songs from Generation X. Alongside “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Teen Angst,” and “Alive,” “Closer to Fine” grabs at something that a lot of us felt as we foraged through our teenage years at a time when the cheesy ’80s were shifting gears into the fin de siecle angst of the ’90s.