Monday, 5 December 2011

Strange Phenomena









I discovered Kate Bush’s music when I was about six – or rather, I was in the room when my mum put on ‘The Red Shoes’ CD to play. There was no musical epiphany, no obsession (at that point), or deep connection to the music. I just knew that ‘Lily’ and ‘Rubberband Girl’ were two of the best songs in the world to dance to wildly.
Ironically, that is now the album of hers I play least. Perhaps as a result of obsessive listening to the point of over-saturation when I was younger, to hear it now is akin to putting on a well-worn, overly familiar coat. There is a certain comfort to it, but nothing particularly new or exciting.  However, the thrilling ‘Hounds of Love’ and the languorous ‘Aerial’ joined it on my iPod early last year – both CDs unearthed from the darkest recesses of my parents' CD drawers, (filled with music ranging from Punk to Jazz). That was when I had the moment of realization – the woman is a genius.
I can now sing along to roughly eighty songs of hers (including 'Strange Phenomena' - this post's title), with '50 Words for Snow' being the latest addition. This new album typifies ‘slow-burn’ – perhaps ironic for a set of distinctly chilly songs. It takes several listens for the meanings and melodies to thaw, at which point the icy beauty hits. Hearing the tracks is like a mixture of sending spirals of breath up into the costume jewellery stars, lying in a snow drift at twilight and sweeping down a steep hill in a red plastic sledge. It almost makes winter desirable, despite my current feeling that the short days and cold should stick around for a maximum of three weeks and no more.

However, a favourite form of procrastination (among the many up my silk shirt sleeves) on these dark nights is obsessive watching of her music videos, from Cloud Busting to Army Dreamers. Each film is like a short narrative in itself. She is perhaps the best example of what it can mean to be an artist: original, intelligent and outrageous.
She is also fascinating in her approach to the creation and publicizing of her music.  Her first, and only, tour was in 1979. It is a rare and lucky day when one can read or listen to an interview with her, and she by and large avoids the public eye. Thus we are left to judge her music objectively, without any back-story splashed across tabloid pages to manipulate our opinions. This is especially fascinating in the wake of the ongoing Leveson inquiry, with the questions it has raised about press accountability and the role of the ‘celebrity’. With Kate Bush, one gets the distinct impression that all she cares about is her music – her writing, singing and recording. Long may it continue.

There is a very wild quality to many of Kate Bush’s songs, and this was the basis I used as inspiration for this shoot with my completely stunning friend Evangeline from Storm Models. She and her family typify the words wonderful and welcoming - and I'm sure that she will go far as a professional model. I thought her long hair and extraordinary look called to mind the musical maven herself. When I told her about the thought process behind my suitcase bulging with red lace and seventies nylon, Evangeline laughed and revealed that her party trick when she was younger was to put on ‘Wuthering Heights’ and cajole guests and visitors into watching her perform it. She was obviously born to fling herself dramatically against trees in the autumn light!

The vintage (rather fragile) red lace dress was bought from eBay, and the 60s red velvet one belonged to my mum - as did the orange hat. I pulled out the green velvet skirt from my dressing up box, and all other accessories are vintage. The shoes and coat are Evangeline's. Doesn't she look gorgeous?

38 comments:

Celynne said...

I've never heard a single Kate Bush song (at least, not that I know of) but I'm definitely going to check her stuff out now!

That red maxi dress is an absolute dream. Those sleeves! Ah! And all the floral detail... such gorgeous photos too.

neenaarr said...

It upsets me that 'Hounds of Love’ has been copied so many times - stop dissolving it!

Nice post :)

neenaarr.blogspot.com

TheShophopper said...

Superb pictures - your friend Evangeline has the most intense look, almost wolflike.

Did you ever see Come Back Kate? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6KCNN8mwNw

Penny Dreadful said...

I have loved Kate Bush ever since I 'discovered' my mums copy of The Kick Inside on vinyl. That top red dress is very Kate indeed, but my heart is with that lush red velvet xx

Jessica said...

The first dress is so bold and I love the leopard print gloves :)

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Fashionistable said...

Ah a woman after my own heart. I do love the hounds of love too and the idea of running up that hill with no problems. Fantastic. Beautiful shots. There are 2 beautiful women in these pictures. You and your friend. Xxxx

Isabella Necessary said...

Our lit teacher would always play Wuthering Heights as a warm before, you guessed it, we would read Wuthering Heights...

Beautiful pictures, is that Bip Ling's sister?

IsabellaNecessary.com

Natalie Suarez said...

i LOVE kate bush!! my friends and i would dance to her all the time back in high school (even attempted a video for class haha!)

i love these images, she's super gorgeous..just like you! xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Vanessa said...

Dear Ros -
what an incredible description of a truly remarkable woman! I could not read your post without taking a moment to put on Wuthering Heights in the background. I completely agree with your point that Kate Bush seems to be truly unique in her distinct approach and dedication to her music and here vision. I remember first seeing the filmclip for Babushka and thinking that wow - this woman is a superhero. A musical, genius superhero - I could not get over her ability to articulate imagination in such a captivating and cohesive manner. My favourite song is currently Army Dreamers, however you have inspired me to explore all the others I have been missing out thus far. And as my ipod recently erased itself (*cries*) I know what I will be filling it with!

Thanks,
Vanessa

ps - Evangeline is stunning

Page said...

oh i love all these outfits and pictures :)
page

Zorian said...

Beautiful photos of Evangeline. You captured something very special.

bollykecks said...

Eek Roz I'd just found a load of Kate Bush tapes at the weekend, and most of my time was spent youtubing her performing so this is very odd. And aww the model looks like you, kind of. You're both beautiful <3

the nyanzi report said...

can i just say that the second to last shot is absolutely beautiful in terms of composition and execution and so are your words.

sacramento said...

Kate Bush has been part of our lives from the begining.
I love your poetic writing and, WANT that gorgeous lace dress, my dear Rosalind.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Arachne said...

I love Your both dresses. They are marvellous.

I also adore Kate Bush, she's amazing.

Dika Dewi said...

i love your red dress.. Red is georgeous... And you make it so hot..

with love:
http://kiddieelf.blogspot.com

Lydia said...

This girl is too beautiful. I love her look! The last two shots are gorgeous. Great job.

daisychain said...

All I can say is amazing.

AvaPilar said...

Its looks just like her dress in the Wuthering Heights video! I must agree that the Red Shoes is my least favourite of her albums. It might be because I never fully recovered from watching her weird movie "The line, the cross and the curve" when I was little. Its a pretty weird collaboration between miranda richardson and kate bush to the soundtrack of the red shoes. I should probable see it again though. Aerial and Hounds of Love are absolutely brilliant. It's taken me a few listens to really appreciate her newest album, but am really loving it now.

Imixx said...

that dress is to die for and the girl is just to beautiful to be allowd

SymbioticLife said...

She does look fantastic. Each shot has its own kind of whimsy. I haven't listened to Kate Bush in ages. I think I'm going to have to break some out again and reconnect with it.

dina vanessa mercado said...

gorgeous pics!!! love the first outfit, the color is very fierce and stunning.. the place looks enchanting too...enjoyed your blog, following you now..

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Nelly said...

She is gorgeous just like you I thought she was your little sister at 1st.I am so in love with that red lace dress what a find!

Ida Ayu Melati said...

nice dress!

100%soie said...

oh my God, the red dress is beautiful !!! please excuse me for my bad english ! these clothes are simply stunning !

Vix said...

I'm going to buck the trend here although I loved Kate Bush's looks her voice never really did it for me, I was more into Debbie Harry back in the day. I much preferred The Futureheads "Hounds Of Love" cover.
On the other hand I absolutely love these pictures and that red dress is glorious on your beautiful friend. x

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Your friend is beautiful. In fact, her hair and charm reminded me a lot of you! Beautifully shot at a perfect time of day.

I live in a time warp since I don't really know Kate Bush, or a lot of popular TV or music! (My friends joke that my criterion for music is that the artist or composer must be long dead. ) But I did look her up on YouTube while reading your post. You are right -- she is an original artist. Even her voice is so distinct. xxx

Izzy/Bella said...

I'm going to take your (subtly) stated suggestion to heart and spend some time procrastinating checking out Kate Bush myself. I don't know her music at all.

You're a talented photographer and your friend is stunning. You should do a shoot together as well! You'd offset each other really well-- something very different yet very similar about you both.

Anyway I love the pictures, outfits and sad falling light...

Thanks for another inspiring piece!
xx
Izzy
www.misadventuresofme.com

Not Just A Pretty Dress said...

I'm not very familiar with Kate Bush's music (shame on me), but you described her character so beautifully and it's interesting that you pointed out that all she cared was her music. It should be like that for every musician, nowadays we have too many 'performers'. Evangeline is beautiful and in the fourth and firth images she looks like you, she has your same gaze. Have a nice w-e Rosalind!

Polka Princess said...

These shots look so natural.......not like a set-up photoshoot at all! And I think there's just this li'l peek of Evangeline's wildness in these photos......but just a hint, mind you!

awishisarainbow said...

Love that lace dress in the first photos!!! So beautiful :)

The life after said...

She looks fabulous!!

The Life After

LAO said...

I'm not a massive fan of Kate Bush myself, but I blame that on the lack of music by her that I have heard. Your photos are always gorgeous, and these are no exception! Please check out my blog, I'm new to this world and would like some feedback, thanks.

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Ria :) said...

i love ur coat in the last photograph, your blog is so lovely by the ways and very inspiring, i will be visiting again very soon hehe :)

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isa telaraña said...

This girl is very pretty. The photos and the clothes you chose are wonderful. I like the outfit with the hat and the skirt.

Richard Fortner said...

I see "The Sensual World" in the first red dress pics. I love Kate so much, but her newest music is too melancholy for me to listen to right now. I am 52, you are young and can probably handle the sadder elements. Beautiful photos!

Richard Fortner said...

The first photograph looks inspired by "Sensual World" inspired. Beautiful all. I love Kate, but her latest music is too melancholy for me to listen to at any length, as I did with her music before. It pulls me in, makes me sad. You are young and can probably handle the more melancholy aspects and snap back after listening.