I feel that Angela Flanders’ Josephine is a perfume that expresses itself through the warm gaze of nostalgia; looking back fondly on the memory of a love from another time. A love so potent it seeps into the architecture of the heart and peppers the landscape of the soul, and it is only long after the pain of separation that one is able to look back upon such a love to cherish its memory.
With Josephine, Ms Flanders interprets violet through a kaleidoscopic lens, expressing different characters of violet via the nuances of Josephine, which for me feels like a production of love in three acts: the nervous first meeting, the full bloom of love, and, finally, the drifting away. There is a tenderness and gentle handling of delicate petals expressed in its execution which skirts the lines between gourmand flirtations and retro allusions, projecting a celebration of violets that makes Josephine a tribute to love and its namesake.
I love this version of Fleetwood Mac’s Sisters of the Moon. I think the castanets give the track a real edge, and towards the end (approximately minute 4:00) they almost take on a ritualistic timbre as their frequency increases almost as if in the culmination of an ancient seance. I picture rising plumes of smoke from burning incense, thrashing bodies, diaphanous flowing fabrics, and incantations invoking spirits’ name both sacred and profane.
I have been known to occasionally spend time on eBay just nosing around for various odds and ends I find interesting or want to stalk on my watch list for a while. If I find a particular shop I really like I will sign up to receive updates from them, and I have been receiving newsletters from an eBay store called Ricky’s Exceptional Treasures for some time now.
The latest edition of Ricky’s newsletter featured a myriad of vintage shawls, several exquisite vintage fringed Spanish shawls with rich black or cream backgrounds embroidered with vibrantly colored florals that, as a girl with a very healthy Stevie Nicks obsession, really captured my imagination.
I believe it was towards the end of last year when I was really into Haim and watching American Horror Story: Coven that I really started getting into Stevie Nicks’ music. You know REALLY listening to the lyrics and just connecting with it. Even after nearly six months of listening to it almost every day I still cannot get through listening to Storms, China Doll, or Knocking on Doors without going all misty eyed.
I can sit spellbound watching her and her sister-in-law, Lori Nicks, singing Nightbird live looking so cool and effortless:
But the one video I keep going back to is a 1976 performance of Rhiannon, which I am sure is legendary in its own right:
The last 30 seconds of this video never fails to leave me with chills. Stevie looks almost as if she is about to slip into a catatonic state, like she is singing with almost every fiber of her absolute being. Almost as if she IS the song.
I love seeing this sort of expression in people. I love to see what inspires the people around me, and I often find that I am in turn inspired by their enthusiasm for a particular subject. I believe we all have these little exceptional treasures, subjects we are passionate about, that move us, and which we excel at. I think everybody has something to bring to the table, something new to teach or share that I wasn’t aware of prior to knowing them and for that I am always grateful.