“What am I going to do when I lose my head?”
(Superlitio, Tripping Tropicana, 2005)
Coming back home, walking back on your first steps, passing by your usual drugstore, you start feeling a bunch of mixed images, thoughts and experiences that can be only compared with ones extracted from one of the most dramatic Bergman movies. The lights from the drugstore become blurred and welcome you to the diagnosis of your current condition:
Depression. Antidepressants are the solution.“One packet of your best tablets please” you say to the constantly smiling cashier.
Well, if the abuse of antidepressants can cause some unplanned consequences, it’s not wrong if you take some of them to alleviate your pain. Wellness and pain, the illness and the sweet medicine, those are the ingredients you will find in this packet: Anthony and Johnsons, a dose of naked, stirring and dramatic sound in one hand; and in the other hand Hercules and Love Affair (Antony Hegarty’s other band) automatically takes you out of your narcoleptic mood and into the one you were in at the old school dance halls.
What are these pills made of? Hegarty enjoys his own character and shines with his own light, perhaps like Tom Smith from the Editors, a craftsman of emotions in conflict. Hegarty, born in the UK but a California resident since his childhood, has worked with artists like Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry, Bjork, and Cocorosie among others.
Without thinking twice, you take eight, nine, or perhaps twelve of those tablets simultaneously and enter a drowsy state, dozed, dazed, losing consciousness of reality that as it becomes surreal. The Crying Light, released in January, leaves the epilepsy dancing: you find your rhythm as you twist in the snow (as its first single says). It is an album based on the relation of human beings with nature (is it Goldfrapp style?); it is Hegarty’s style and it recalls the gray sadness of his two last album covers. You could fall into a state of higher fragility while remembering previous songs like “The Lake”, based on a Federico Garcia Lorca poem.
The effect of these simultaneous tablets is not fleeting and the dose has been strong enough to get into the sweet and sophisticated notes of this uproarious voice. It’s perhaps the same feeling as seeing dry flowers through a black & white lens. Without any doubt this band is neither green nor yellow, nor red nor blue, but not completely black either. It’s a tenuous relaxed gray to which you can easily become addicted. You just need to feel like a child again, a problematic one, and while you are growing up constantly repeat: “My infant spirit would awake to the terror of the lone lake” (“The Lake”, I Am a Bird Now, 2005)
With your head already on the pillow, you make a list of what you have done and what you have to do. You can see the last sip of water in your glass on the table; anyway there are no more pills left so you ingest your last pill without any fear abuse. In a blink your bed, your room has been transformed into a theater. It is not easy to distinguish anyone, anything, only a voice. Suddenly the stage changes and you are standing at a Friday night party, with the most sticky disco music that you have ever heard before, a shiny, pretty, sticky music. It is Hercules and Love Affair with their self-titled album of 2008. They wake you up from the analgesic effect caused by the same singer performing with a different band. The lyrics are of equal intensity: as deep, mythical, and catchy as those of Antony & the Johnsons, though it’s a less complex visual performance. They are different dresses for the same protagonist, yet nothing is the same. Together with the disco ball’s effect you hear in your mind “To hear you now, to see you now I can look outside myself, and I must examine my breath and look inside, because I feel blind” (Hercules and Love Affair, 2008)
The sonorous effects produced by this new medicine fortunately or unfortunately will not last forever; some hours later you wake up anxious for a new expedition to the used drug store, wondering what you will find in the next packet.
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