A Private Session With Britain’s Next Big Heartbroken Musical Marvel
Signed to Lily Rose Cooper’s record label and set to open for the Rolling Stones in London’s Hyde Park this summer, Tom Odell lures us in with melodic piano and spare vocals in today’s Jonny Sanders-directed video for “Grow Old with Me.” Taken from the British singer-songwriter’s forthcoming album Long Way Down, the shoot took place last month just before Odell embarked on his current US tour, pit-stopping for a live session on the Late Show with David Letterman last night. “Touring America has always been a dream of mine,” enthuses Odell. “I grew up reading authors like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, then obsessing over films by Terrence Malick and Arthur Penn. It’s so vast and so much has been written about it—it’s nice to finally be here, understanding it a little more.” Since making his TV debut on the UK’s talent-anointing Later… with Jools Holland, Odell has gained much critical acclaim—including the coveted Critics’ Choice Brit Award this year, previously won by Florence and the Machine, Adele and Emeli Sandé. Here the bittersweet balladeer gives up a few more intimate details.
What's one possession you have that you will always keep?
Tom Odell: I have an old Yamaha Dictaphone that I bought when I was about 14. Every melody, lyric, chord, idea I've written has gone into it, and I take it everywhere I go.
What book do you foresee yourself re-reading over and over again?
TO: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
What record will you never stop listening to?
TO: Desire by Bob Dylan.
Is there a food you could never give up?
TO: I’m a sucker for a good English roast dinner. It kind of takes me back to my childhood.
Where will you grow old?
TO: I’m not sure, but I really do love London—right now I can't see myself living anywhere else.
The Experimental Folk Sisters Premiere A Psychedelic Fantasy
A furry beast cavorts on the shoreline as Hawaii becomes a psychotropic paradise after being given the CocoRosie treatment in the band's newest video release. Filmed by Mike Basich in the island state, “After the Afterlife” is taken from the forthcoming album Tales of a Grasswidow. “It was exciting to be given so much creative space when working with CocoRosie,” he says. “It was a special project filming it in a place where the girls grew up in their younger years; adventuring through nature, dreaming of other lives in the land of Hawaii.” Since their debut release La maison de mon rêve in 2004, sisters Bianca (“Coco”) and Sierra (“Rosie”) Casady have forged their own freaky following, using rare instruments and far-out vocals to pioneer a free-spirited brand of folk that has led to collaborations with such artists as Antony Hegarty and Devendra Banhart. The pair have also provided soundtracks for Escada and Prada campaigns, lending the track “Trembled Blossoms” for the latter’s spring/summer 2008 animated short, and are currently preparing a project with acclaimed American theatre director Robert Wilson on a production of Peter Pan by the Berliner Ensemble. Through their music and various projects, the siblings are also committed to the global feminist fight, as Bianca relayed to NOWNESS.
Why is it important to attack patriarchy through your music?
Bianca Casady: Patriarchy is over. This is my slogan of hope. We must project optimistic images. I don’t want to see popes and presidents and warlords any more. Most of all, I am tired of the male image of God. We are from the earth, she is our mother; we must protect her.
Can you tell us more about your Future Feminism project?
BC: Burning dialogues about a desperate need for a revitalization of feminism and concern for the planet quickly turned into planned meetings between us, Antony Hegarty, Kembra Pfahler and Johanna Constantine. We are working on a book as well as an art exhibition for next fall.
Are you hopeful for the future?
BC: We are bursting with optimism. I feel there is currently a global awakening to the realization that we have been comfortable in a social prison for thousands of years. Women and men are oppressed by patriarchal views, systems and religions that despise women, who have hijacked her power of creation and called her a whore. Wherever we can we must resist and reinvent. There will not be an invitation for women to take the seat of power—we must just take it.
The Legendary Photographer Plunges Into the Dark Corners and Bright Lights of Hong Kong
Acclaimed Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama’s sensual approach to the urban landscape is revealed in this edifying short by the Hong Kong-based filmmaker Ringo Tang. Now in his 70s, Moriyama shot to fame when his grainy black-and-white images depicting a post-war Japan in flux won the country’s New Artist Award in 1967 and has since had major retrospectives at the New York Metropolitan Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1999), the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2008) and, currently, at Tate Modern in tandem with William Klein. His high-contrast, distorted imagery and raw-verging-on-sordid content has influenced the work of countless photographers. Tang’s relationship to the master of harsh street photography is especially poetic: “The Moriyama black has always fascinated me,” the director writes in homage. “A thick slash of heavy black, so overwhelming.” Filmed while Moriyama was in Hong Kong for his first ever solo exhibition there, the short splices examples of his oeuvre with footage of the artist himself, whose short sentences are layered over the industrial beat of the city. The result taps into Moriyama’s engaged, multi-sensory experience of the metropolis, which he investigates using not only sight, but also smell and sound. Observations such as “The past cannot be captured by the present, the present can only be captured in the moment” crystallize what Moriyama refers to as “the mighty power” of photography.