BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Chappell Roan’s Stunning Debut EP ‘School Nights’

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Image by Catie Laffoon

 

When you’re from Willard, Missouri, there’s not much chance that a famous music producer is just going to appear suddenly at one of your gigs – no matter you much you believe in what you’re doing. But Chappell Roan is that rarest of Cinderella stories, the small town high school choir girl who happened to post a performance to YouTube that ultimately changed her life.

It didn’t hurt her chances that she has a voice which seems to come from some supernatural or celestial place. And her new EP School Nights, which BlackBook premieres here, is as stunning a debut as we’ve heard in all of 2017. Musically sophisticated yet strikingly vulnerable, tracks like “Meantime” and “Die Young” have an almost hymn-like quality, the latter marked by its soaring strings and stark confessions of emotional uncertainty: “I keep my doubts in the back of my mind.” And “Sugar High” – a haunted, noir-like lament that has an almost David Lynchian essence – proves the range of her songwriting perspicacity.

But it’s perhaps the soulful lead single “Good Hurt” which is most affecting, with its mournful, visceral piano and tormented declarations of, “I should know better.” Indeed, it leaves little doubt of her future greatness. (Though we’ll hold the “next Lorde” proclamations for now.)

“These very personal songs have been tucked away for so long,” she confides. “They’re like my little babies.”

 

You’re just 19 and from a small town in Missouri. How exactly were you “discovered?”

It was pretty much a long shot. I performed locally at coffee shops and tiny venues and posted my performances on YouTube. Another artist, Troye Sivan, saw one of my videos and tweeted about it…and that got me some buzz and attention from a few record labels. Now here I am, still awestruck that this is even happening.

You have a singularly unique singing style. Who are some of your vocal influences?

I love Stevie Nicks and Karen Carpenter, those are my main  influences. I used to try to mimic their voices exactly when I was younger. Stylistically, Lana Del Rey and Lorde inspire so much of my writing and how I move my voice.

There’s certainly a dark thread running through your music. Are the songs a way of working those things out for you?

I write exactly what I feel. When I was writing this EP, I was in a very dark place at the time, and it definitely helped to write and release what I was feeling. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to the songs and realize how sad or crazy or alone I used to feel. I am in such a happier place now.

There’s also a bit of a cinematic quality to your songs. Are you influenced by film?

I just recently got into film. I really love film scores and how they’re such an important part of telling a story. I try to write my songs in a way you can visualize the story in your head – I incorporate specific details so you can really see and feel the same things that I do.

Is the School Nights EP a collective reflection of you leading up to this moment? Or is it pointing the way forward?

I feel like The School Nights is a reflection of so many different sides of me. Some parts of it are things that I still have to work on, but others I have let go of and have grown out of. It has taken me a long time to write all of these songs, so I was at various stages in my life. I just hope that it can make someone feel like they’re not crazy for feeling the way they do, and that it’s okay to feel sad or happy, or both at the same time.

How do you feel about it now that it is finished and ready to be released?

To be honest, I’m nervous…but so excited at the same time. I feel pretty vulnerable with [these songs] being released; but I’m so proud, and I know this is just the beginning of what I have been working so hard for. This all feels like such a dream.

(N.B.  She launches an extensive North American tour with Foy Vance in Vancouver on September 27.)

 

BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Sexy Remix of Honne’s ‘Just Dance’ by Ross From Friends

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On the occasion of their introduction to the world in 2014, Brit electronic duo Honne (James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck) were described by The Telegraph as “destined to re-invent babymaking.” That’s a serious responsibility – once held by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Sade – but they’ve seemed decidedly up for the task.

And now, a year after their debut album Warm on a Cold Night won critical raves, they have a seriously sensual new single,  the unambiguously titled “Just Dance.” Its retro 80s, new-nu-soul charms are immediate and utterly infectious.

“‘Just Dance,’ for us, is a song about losing your inhibitions,” says Clutterbuck. ‘Dance like you are with nobody’ pretty much sums up the feel we wanted for the track – relentlessly energetic and ready to go until the early hours.”

Not that it needed any help. But this fabulous new remix by London producer Ross From Friends (ha ha, clever), which BlackBook premieres here, sexes it up considerably.

(For those who want to groove with Honne in person – and perhaps make a baby or two – they’ll be at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City November 19.)

 

BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Provocative New Bottin Single ‘Perfect Mind’

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We’ve been atwitter with anticipation since premiering Bottin‘s seductive new single “Y-A-M-L” this past June. And now the globetrotting-but-very-Italian DJ-producer-sound*designer is at last ready to tease his new album, I Have What I Gave, which drops October 6 on 2MR.

Naturally, we’re privileged to premiere first single ‘Perfect Mind.’ It is a revealing harbinger of the sort of cinematic retro-futuro-disco that will assure that I Have What I Gave will be one of autumn’s most buzzed about dance albums. Intended as a piece for the late performance artist Chiara Fumai, Bottin instead made the decision to employ vox synths for the proper effect.  And so the finished track flaunts an electronic voice alluringly and thought-provokingly reciting from the ancient Gnostic gospels over a thundering electro beat – a surely once-in-a-lifetime coming together of ancient scripture and 80s Euro club culture.

“It started as a collaboration with my artist friend Chiara Fumai,” Bottin explains, “featuring words from an ancient Greek prayer: ‘The Thunder, Perfect Mind’ found in the Nag Hammadi texts discovered in Egypt in 1945. The words are delivered through various vocal synthesis engines, evoking a feminine spiritual entity discussing the most human of matters and the consequences of giving in to carnal temptation.”

That…and it will make you dance.

 

 

The Coolest European Cities You Don’t Know, Part I

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We’ve been plenty busy in 2017, museum-hopping in Paris, flirting in Rome and clubbing in the Berlin Kreuzberg underground. But cultivated Europhiles that we are, we’re always feeling the call of some of our less-trodden, yet still favorite cities on the Continent.

Nothing beckons us to Europa quite like the turning of autumn, with its exhilaratingly crisp evenings, stylishly scarfed locals, and those transcendently evocative fragrances that fill the air of each city (the latter a particular treat for those forced to breath the noxious fumes of New York and LA every day).

Part I of our sojourn takes us to fashionable Antwerp (Belgium) and sophisticated Maastricht (The Netherlands). Take note, if you’ve yet to fall for the charms of the Benelux, a couple of days in each city will cure you of that straight away.

 

Antwerp

Clockwise from top left, The Jane Restaurant; Antwerp architecture; Hotel Julien; MoMu

 

If fashion has held a central place in your life and you haven’t yet been to Antwerp, you should readily acknowledge a slight tinge of embarrassment. From the Antwerp Six on to today’s new guard of Belgian design, the exalted Royal Academy of Fine Arts continues to turn out some of the most astonishing talent, whose creations can be found in the vanguard boutiques in and around Nationalestraat – where you’ll also stumble upon the hallowed flagships of the likes of Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester. Nearby, as well, is the MoMu, the city’s incomparable fashion museum, which as of December 10 will host Olivier Theyskens, She Walks in Beauty. (Between boutiques, stop in for a de rigueur lunch at Verso Cafe, within the concept shop of the same name.)

Antwerp is also a place of staggering physical beauty, with its gothic-looking Flemish Renaissance cityscape and majestic harbor. The latter is now home to industrial-chic restaurants like Het Pomphuis (in a grandiose former pump house) and the sleek, Michelin-starred ‘t Zilte, on the top floor of the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom).

And speaking of vanguard, the thought-provoking M HKA museum, and independent galleries such as Valerie Traan, Stella Lohaus and Annie Gentils are central to Antwerp’s thriving contemporary art scene. If it’s architecture that sets you atingle, plan a leisurely stroll along the Cogels Osylei, a street in the Zurenborg district where art nouveau, neo-Renaissance, neo-gothic and Tudor-revival styles (amongst others) all come together in a strange but elegant sort of harmony.

Antwerp nightlife, it must be said, is totally bonkers. Start with a glamorous dinner at The Jane, fitted into a stunning 19th Century former chapel; the 13-course prix-fixe menu is €140, but the upstairs bar has much more agreeable prices, and seats you closer to God. Continue on to the extravagant scenes at over-the-top dance clubs like Red & Blue, Publik and Cafe D’Anvers. Expect a significant degree of mind-altering.

Stay

Hotel Julien is a smart, mostly-minimalist guesthouse with an intimate subterranean spa; Hotel Banks is a stylish sleep amidst the best fashion shopping; De Witte Lelie is the joining of three 17th Century townhouses into a place of utterly ethereal beauty (and favored by notable fashion designers).

 

Maastricht

Clockwise from top left, Kruisherenhotel; River Meuse; Stijl boutique; Maastricht streets

 

Famous as the place where in 1992 the modern European Union and the euro were born (the anti-Brexit, if you will), Maastricht is actually a seductive mix of international college town and exquisitely cosmopolitan city. And seriously, nearly everyone seems to have a bloody great sense of style here. With its right and left banks straddling the majestic Meuse River, the ethereal setting might easily have you thinking it can’t possibly all be real.

Wedged almost covertly between Belgium and Germany (Cologne is just 70 km away), history and modernity play very well together in this comely Southern Dutch town. Roman cathedrals bookend narrow 17th Century streets, which are abuzz with urbane cafes, indie fashion boutiques and intimate contemporary art galleries. And to be sure, one of the vigorously recommended activities is just…walking around.

Remarkably, for a relatively small city, Maastricht packs in rather a lot of Michelin stars. Tout a Fait, Beluga loves you, Toine Hermsen, Au Coin des Bons Enfants and the glorious Chateau Neercanne, just outside the center, all boast at least one – and chefs can be wildly experimental. But there are also more bars per capita than even Amsterdam – so a jenever (gin) soaked night on the tiles requires little planning. Still, make sure to hit The Lab for perception-altering cocktails, and Complex for bleeding-edge dance music.

Culture vultures should make time for the architecture and design gallery Bureau Europa, as well as the Bonnefantenmuseum, with its fascinating mix of Italian and Flemish Renaissance and baroque works, and brilliantly curated – Richard Serra, Sol Lewitt, Neo Rauch, Gilbert & George – contemporary collection.

Stay

The Kruisherenhotel (a member of Design Hotels) might literally be the most spectacular hotel in the known universe, fitted as it is into an awe-inspiring, 15th Century former monastery and cathedral; the Beaumont, right on the buzzy Stationsstraat, has minimalist rooms and the chic Harry’s restaurant; Hotel Dis is an artistic 7-room guesthouse with its own gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

BlackBook Interview: Chatting With IAMX About Abstraction, Cultural Paralysis and LA vs. Berlin

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When Chris Corner became IAMX in 2004, it was a way of fulfilling the promise of his band Sneaker Pimps’ 1996 album title prophecy Becoming X. And it’s precisely that level of thoughtful, thought-provoking self-possession that has fueled 13 years of his mind-altering alter-ego – including six studio albums, 19 singles and 20 aesthetically ideological videos.

Album number seven, intriguingly titled Unfall, is released this Friday, September 22. It finds him throwing one of his greatest challenges into his own path: tossing off the yolk of emotional responsibility, to make essentially instrumental music that defines itself by design – without coming off at all cold or detached.

Indeed, first single Little Deaths” is a stunning work of cinematic horrortronica, full of anxiety and haunted by lunatic whispers; “The Noise Cabinet” throws nervous squelches and bleeps and a fractured reggae beat against a lush, almost serenity-inducing backdrop; and “Mirtazapine,” which BlackBook premieres here, reckons antidepressants with jittery video-game-like noises, and lots of sexualized Teutonic tension. It’s genuinely mind-blowing stuff, the work of a musical architect who had ostensibly until now left too many buildings unbuilt.

For fans of his more straightforwardly (we use that term carefully) visceral work, a new “vocal” album – and full band tour – will follow closely behind.

At this pivotal creative moment, we had the singular pleasure of conversing with the enigmatic yet graciously forthcoming musical thespian.

 

 

How much is IAMX the real Chris Corner, and how much is it…

A Hell?

Haha. But maybe a sort of sanctuary of artifice?

It’s definitely not artifice, since whatever I do in that space is very real. It’s almost too deep for me, sometimes. I wouldn’t actually call it a sanctuary.

So there’s not really a line between the two?

That line was blurred a long time ago. I kind of yearn for that line to be back – although it’s been character building. But there are subtleties to the normal everyday Chris Corner that I miss a bit…since I’m so preoccupied with this beast.

You’re not doing this album to any commercial ends, surely. How did you come to decide on it?

It was my way of taking a break from the normal depths – from using music to question humanity and my place in it…you know, the things you go through with art. Instrumental music is a technical project – you can actually create the emotion without having to feel the emotion. It’s a nice respite from the intensity of writing lyrics and being tuned in to the wrongs of the world. I also wanted to see if I could actually do it.

It bears the hallmarks of total artistic freedom. What was influencing you at the time?

Just the idea of abstraction and space, taking my usual palette and deconstructing it into something unexpected.

Yet that seems a carefully edited sonic palette. But then, the people with the best musical tastes are those that reject almost everything.

I don’t listen to music very often. It’s actually exhausting to me to listen to all kinds of music.

Was this a chance for you to be more of a “sound designer”?

To be honest, the hardest work with IAMX is the message. And here the only message is artistic freedom. So yes, sound designing was my first intention.

 

Speaking of message. The world is always in chaos, and your lyrics have addressed so many of humanity’s ills. But in this particularly divisive time, music seems to have slinked away from the fight. 

Culturally, music is just paralyzed. It’s now just this product that’s too ‘consumed’ to have any greater impact.

We wanted art to change the world…

It’s just this huge loop that we’re in. It makes you feel a little helpless – so you focus on the things that you can control. And my themes are a bit too subversive to ever be in the position to politically do anything; but I think you can chip away in the underground. And I’m not fucking interested in Trump supporters – I’m interested in conscientious, interesting human beings.

You live in LA now…

Well, for a morbid artist like myself, it’s a bit of a breath of fresh air. I could have sat around for years in Berlin and written all my dark, introspective music. But I can actually do that here. The place seems like a bit of a contradiction with the music…

But all life is contradiction.

Yes, absolutely.

 

Drink Sake, Play DJ! Tokyo Record Bar Opens in the West Village

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There’s a thing in Japan – where it’s popular for bars to be themed around record collections. Of course, an evening out with a bunch of vinyl-heads doesn’t exactly scream “fun,” does it?

So when Ariel Arce (former Wine Director at the now shuttered Birds & Bubbles) decided to open her new Tokyo Record Bar in the West Village, she wisely added a bit of sex appeal to its audiophile allure. The kitschy-chic room is actually located below Air’s Champagne Parlor, which she just opened in August on a picturesque stretch of MacDougal Street – so it comes with a built-in subterranean intrigue.

Yet despite its music geek appeal, there’s actually a bit of Japanese formality to it all – with specifically timed “Vinyl Jukebox” seatings at 6:30pm and at 8:30pm (seriously, don’t be late). A $50 prix-fixe gets you a 7-item Izakaya dining experience, and the singular kick of getting to act as co-curator of the 90-minute dinner soundtrack. At 10pm, it switches to normal seating, a la carte menu and a proper DJ sort bringing the tunes.

The drinks menu is, hardly surprisingly, focused around sake and shochu based cocktails. Oh, and if you’re really into Nordic black metal, you might have to go ‘byov(inyl).”

 

Star DJ Whitney Fierce’s Insider Guide To LA’s Hip (North) Koreatown

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Onomatopoeia. You know, when a word sounds like what it’s actually describing (boom!). We’re thinking this can very much apply to names, as well – especially when it comes to star DJ Whitney Fierce, who is known for fiercely shredding it behind the decks, while also dazzling any room with her inimitable presence.

A keen internationalist, she’s spun for the likes of Vogue, Dior, Topshop and Marc Jacobs, and been featured on the bill at Rock in Rio USA, Meltdown London, Nuit Sonique (Paris), Red Rocks (Russia) and the Istanbul Electronica Festival. She’ll be at Brooklyn’s House of Yes this Saturday, the 23rd, before jetting off to engagements in Australia.

 

 

When she’s not globetrotting, she calls Los Angeles home, specifically North Koreatown. Bordering the likes of Silver Lake and East Hollywood, it maintains a careful balance of local charm and charismatic cool.

“It’s brilliantly central and I love it, ” she enthuses, “because contrary to popular belief, it’s an LA neighborhood that’s actually walkable. Being here for five years, I’ve watched it change from a crunchy multicultural area to what is becoming a hipster enclave. But it’s still inclusive of the people who are originally from here. It’s this amalgamation and juxtaposition of old school and new, classic and hip, simple and fancy that makes me fall in love with it every time I get home.”

In between international stops, we asked her to take us through some of her fave spots in her beloved NK-Town.

(Twitter and Instagram, @DJWhitneyFierce; Listen on Soundcloud)

 

Sqirl

Very current, chic, and delicious breakfast/lunch spot that started as a preserves company. Their toast options carry that history, but you can find me neck deep in a Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl w/Kokuho rose brown rice, sorrel pesto, preserved meyer lemon, watermelon radish, lacto fermented hot sauce, French sheep feta and poached egg – then to double up on the egg fare, I’ll always have a Lait ‘N’ Egg to drink, which is a Vietnamese style iced coffee shaken w/ egg whites.

Commonwealth and Council

An up-and-coming gallery/artist space that’s artist run. With multiple generations at the helm, you’ll see work here that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. from classic exhibitions to video, performance, and installation work. They show artists from around the country and the world, from many different backgrounds and cultures; it’s a great place to stop in to expand your boundaries and your mind!

 

 

EMC Raw Bar

My favorite raw bar. I am obsessed with oysters, to the point that a couple friends and I have a #GoutRace in the works. Happy hour is amazing, with dollar chef’s choice oysters and super affordable drink offerings. Don’t forget the live uni y’all. Seriously.

Poketo

Nestled in the lobby of the mega hip Line Hotel, this tiny store has so many of my favorite things, it’s absurd. I can always count on them to carry the most amazing and left field fragrances, natural bath and beauty products, and their fun bits and accessories are staggeringly well curated.

 

 

Yang San Bak

My personal favorite Korean BBQ spot, a block from the Line Hotel, Yang San Bak serves the finest self-grilled meats in the hood. Their combos come with soju and/or beer, and their banchan is incredible. And seriously, the kimchi moat is something that you didn’t know you needed in your life, but you do. Perfect for late night eats after oysters and drinks.

Baroo

It’s described on Yelp as Asian Fusion, which could be the most boring way to say what this gem of a place actually is: perhaps the best take on modern Korean I have ever put to my lips. Perfect for lunch or dinner, and definitely don’t forget their house made lavender kombucha.

 

 

HMS Bounty

A couple of blocks from EMC is a classic LA establishment, a watering hole for all people of all walks. Simple cocktails in the most amazing nautical themed atmosphere. The jukebox and the steak lunches take this spot to another level. Heck, my mom used to frequent the place when she moved to LA, and I’m always down for a legacy beverage.

The Normandie Club

Right across from YSB, nestled in a row of super cute new spots (Cassell’s – amazing hangover food, try the breakfast burger; Le Comptoir, an eight seat restaurant that reimagines French cuisine; and the semi-secret Walker Inn, with omakase-style cocktails). The Normandie Club is my neighborhood watering hole, but with a lot more to offer. They always have fun wines and their cocktail game is on point. The atmosphere is hip and the music is fun, you can meet people or bring your crew, and it’s the perfect place to end your evening and then, in my case, stumble eight blocks home.

 

BlackBook Interview: Zola Jesus on Fragility, Catharsis and Cleansing the Pain

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Perhaps the most curious thing about Zola Jesus is that her real name, Nika Roza Danilova, would itself seem rife with intrigues – and very much worth keeping. But her nom de guerre‘s references to Christ and iconoclastic 19th Century French author Emile Zola perhaps do reveal much more about her ongoing creative existence.

Indeed, there has been something of the quality of metaphorical public crucifixion in her songs, a sense that she is willing to suffer through her art to wash away the various personal torments of not only herself but her faithful followers as well. And, well, a further kinship between Nika and Zola and Jesus is a willingness to stand athwart the dubious cultural or political establishments of their time.

The new Zola Jesus album Okovi (released this month on Sacred Bones Records) does this perhaps more viscerally and strikingly than any that have come before it. From the haunted, almost threatening atmospherics and thundering drums of “Exhumed,” to the hymn-like catharsis of “Siphon,” to the empowering self-possession and chilling, Siouxsie-esque vocals of “Soak,” this is the emotional and sonic tour de force that you always knew she was capable of.

We were privileged to be granted an audience with Ms. Danilova, who explained the fragile defiance that drove its creation.

 

 

Overall, there’s a more ominous feeling to this album. Was there something going on in your life which influenced that?

Yes, I was going though a really dark period in my life, I was very depressed, and wasn’t able to write or do anything. But even as I got better, people around me were dealing with extremely difficult things; like, a close friend was struggling with terminal cancer. It was just a very heavy time.

Do you find it a form of therapy to attempt to work through those things by putting them into song? Are you able to have a dialogue with yourself within your lyrics?

Totally. Most of the songs are about me talking to myself [about those things]. I’m not a great communicator verbally, so I use my songs.

Let’s get into some of the lyrics. In “Soak,” you confess, “I feel nothing instead / I give nothing instead.”

What I’m trying to say is that I feel like I experience life as an all-or-nothing. I sometimes would rather feel or experience nothing al all if I can’t experience everything.

With “Siphon,” you almost seem to be offering up a prayer: “We’ve got to clean the blood of the living / I won’t let you bleed out.”

That song is extremely literal, even though it seems like it could be metaphorical. A friend of mine attempted suicide, and it’s talking about the physical, literal aftermath of that. Wanting to let that person know you’re going to be there for them as long as they want to stay alive.

 

This is a very atmospheric, esoteric record – not exactly stacked with obvious pop hooks. Are you consciously trying to kick back against the level of success you’ve achieved?

In the past I was often intrigued by the opportunity to push back. But this time I couldn’t really think about that, because it was such a selfish record. These songs are much more precious and personal and fragile to me than some of the music I’ve made in the past. It’s extremely honest.

So this is something of a catharsis record?

Definitely. So much of this album was an attempt to cleanse the pain that I felt and cleanse the pain of the people around me. Because it’s the only way I know how.

The cello strikingly stands out amongst the instrumentation, especially on a track like “Witness.”

I hired a string quartet, and the cellist was this girl Shannon Kennedy…

Were you trying to explore new possibilities sonically?

I was really interested in attempting to find otherworldly textures, sort of a metaphor for the collision between the internal and external worlds. That’s why I enlisted the help of Shannon for electronics, and also Ted Byrnes, a really amazing avant-garde percussionist, to build up that world in a way that I couldn’t on my own.

Have you found that your audience has grown with your musical experimentation and emotional evolution? 

It’s hard for me because it often seems like I’m either not challenging enough for some, or not melodic enough for others. But I want to make music that forces people to make compromises as a listener. I have to believe that along the way, some of my listeners have bent their ears for me.

 

Just as you certainly have done for yourself.

I’m never doing the right thing for everybody, so I can only do the thing that’s natural for me.

Do you experience that Robert Smith sort of thing, where fans write to say your music has helped them deal with suffering or loneliness in their lives?

Yes, I do; and that’s all I can ask for. That I’m affecting someone in a way that they maybe feel less alone. That’s all I ever needed myself, was to feel that kind of connection. So I’m trying to tap into the collective strife. They’re just human experiences, and we all go through them.

How will such complex and texturally layered new songs translate to your stage performance?

It won’t be about translating the record, but translating the songs – keeping the performance, raw, visceral, emotional, and giving the songs space, so they can breathe. Rather than trying to make every sound on the record heard, it’s more about maintaining the emotional impact.

How would you sum up your state of mind right now?

I’m just learning to not have any expectations, and not have any sense of hope. But in that way I feel kind of empowered. Just focusing on being the best I can be at putting something out into the world. Just trying to stay clean, you know?

(Zola Jesus launches an extensive North American tour on September 20 at LA’s Regent Theater.)

 

Live Like a British Pop Star: The Residence at John Lewis Debuts in London

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As fantasies go, getting accidentally locked in a luxury department store overnight is surely up there. But what if you were actually given permission to stay?

That’s sort of the idea behind the The Residence at John Lewis, a totally unique, furnished in-store-apartment concept. It opens this weekend at their Oxford Street London location (with versions in Liverpool and Cambridge, as well), featuring a gorgeously designed living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom. Exquisitely curated, everything within is available for browsing and purchase.

But surely, nothing so quotidian as shopping would get us this excited. Rather, the ultra posh apartment is on offer for impossibly luxurious sleepovers, as well as decadent dinner parties or brunches for you and your most fashionable friends. What’s included? A private concierge and mixologist, a fully Waitrose-stocked kitchen, a chicly stuffed wardrobe in guest’s size, as well as an hour’s worth of private shopping time. And, of course, the chance to live like your favorite British pop star or supermodel, if only for a brief spell.

Those hoping for the chance to experience an overnight stay or brunch/dinner, can apply at any of the three stores this weekend or next (16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th.) Godspeed.