In antique times, Greeks didn’t describe dreams as something that happened in their heads while they slept, but as something that descended from heaven, you saw your dream approach like a window opening into the world of the Gods, and once the message was delivered, this window went away, it vanished into the distance. The beginning of Brooklyn chanteuse Ela Orleans’ Something Higher is absolutely like that, a funereal anthem of treble and reverb which materialises in front of you like a faded postcard from a frozen tundra beyond the fiery sea- it makes us think of Nico.
It sounds like the songs that that child was singing before she disappeared deep into the neck of the woods never to be seen again, they still echo ghostly in a barren spot where all that remains is silence. Enthralling.
My fortress is a collection of rituals, and every ritual is a secret charm protecting me against anything bad happening. I step through the world in perfectly measured ellipses, navigating the cracks of the pavement like a tightrope walker whose life hinges on not taking the wrong step next. I stare into the ground and continue sliding into the curvature of this cycle with my hands in my pockets. Ensuring that I am where I should be at the right time every time so that the same thing will happen again requires concentration. But sometimes I get distracted. Someone gets on my way, the whole day is thrown into disarray. Those are the bad times.
But there are other times. My shadow projected over the pavement, long and murky and lonely, and then suddenly another shadow blending into mine, and beyond, I raise my head disregarding the strict plan, a bird soars towards the spires of the cathedral under whose mighty structures I walk every day, and I am blinded by the sun. The scaffolding of signs and symbols surrounding my body shakes, a spider crack appears on its side, a rain of dust, I smile because I am one beautiful moment closer to being free.