Wolf : Lucy Harbron #WorldPoetryDay

head talks

I emerged
grey and screaming. Howling
my wolf’s howl;
calling to a mother that didn’t understand
and a father that looked on with drooped eyes,
blinking hard, as if to wake up and try it all again.

I lay in their arms but itched
irritated, their soft unbroken skin catching
under my crowning claws.
I guess he saw them first.
Only holding me briefly, never to let me pierce;
never to let me mark him,
for that might make it real, I harm
therefore I am.

I learnt to walk on my hind legs as told,
clipped my nails, hid my fur.
They adapted as all did and held me when I was hurt,
hunted me when I hurt them.
I saw myself, gradually, in the mirror;
saw the forest fires in my eyes,
the habitual predator looking back from me,
the eyes of my father blazing
from my face, a sheep’s face
with wolf eyes.

I growled as I heard him growl at midnight,
every third Tuesday when I would not sleep.
I ate as he ate, when one fell behind.
I grew teeth as he’d bite.
I took his coat;
wrapped in it, swaddled like a baby
merging with the instincts of their parents.
I evolved as he did, for if you wear a coat so long
it becomes yours.

Alone in a pack, I transform
as he challenged me to,
White wool to grey fur in the full moon
of a living room lamp.

An Interview With Palace

Music

When it came to naming the magazine I struggled for a while. I would sit for hours at my desk sending ideas back and forth to people, making draft logo, writing words again and again in different fonts until they blurred to nothing. And all while doing this, I would listen to Palace. Their song Kiloran caught me immediately, i’d listen to it on repeat and something about it completely captivated me. I named the mag after the song, and the memory of having that song be the soundtrack to my longing for something to happen. So I made something happen and I called it Kiloran.

I never expected the band to ever really see it, let alone support what we do here and agree to chat to us. So I was super blessed to be able to chat to Leo about the band, their past and their future…


Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourselves, how did the band come about?

 

We’ve known each other since we were about 13. We go way back to the old days. We’ve always shared a big love of music, playing and listening. So it only seemed right that we form a band at some point. We started just for fun, not a career move. So it’s come from a very organic un-self conscious place as we never thought we’d show anyone our sound. Thank god we did. We love our job.

 

Does the journey between starting to release and the release of your debut album, So Long Forever, late last year feel like a long process, or has it all spiralled very fast?

 

Yeah it takes time! It was tough that wait. We just wanted it to be out there for the masses to devour. After a while we just kinda switched off from the release dates and stuff as the wait was kind of excruciating. When it came out it was like giving birth. That anticipation and then finally our baby was released, and we named her So Long Forever.

 

For when I first started following you guys with the release of Veins in 2014 to now, you’ve really grown not only in status but in sound. Does it feel kinda nostalgic to be playing the older material now?

 

Yeah it does actually. It’s a beautiful blast from the blast getting to play old tunes. We owe a lot to those song a so its always a pleasure to play them.

But I suppose it always feels more exciting to play new fresh stuff, all the new album stuff is a dream to play. And yeah the sound seems like old us but enhanced, more 3D and surround sound somehow. Bigger and more epic.

 

Which of your songs is your favourite to play live and why?

 

So Long Forever. We’re obsessed with playing it live. Dynamically it’s exciting and explosive and the guitar parts are some of the most intricate and weaving we’ve written. Even in rehearsals we still get a kick from playing it. The choruses too are just HUGE and psychedelic almost. Our vibe.

 

What/who are some of the biggest influences on your music, and have they changed at all during your time together as a band?

 

Wu Lyf and Jeff Buckley were or starting points for sound and what we were listening to when we started. Sadly both are no more for different reasons so I can’t say! But we definitely plucked that atmosphere and epicness from them.
Then we love old folk stuff like John Fahey and John Martyn. All that beautiful weird tuning guitar stuff is a big influence.

More modern stuff we love are Foals; The Maccabees and King Krule. At the moment I’m obsessed with Angel Olsen though. I think she’s the biggest talent around in terms of voice and song writing. She’s pretty exceptional.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about the creation of the album? Was there any particular message or sound you wanted to get across with your debut?

 

Well we wanted it to just represent us in a very truthful and honest way and not try to be anything we weren’t, that’s very important to us. We wanted it to be us but more epic, bigger and atmospheric.

 

So the mag is named after your song Kiloran which is so close to my heart. Talk to me about it! Where did the inspo come from? What was the context of it being written? What does it mean to you?

 
What an honour that you guys have done that! So cool. So Kiloran is a beautiful bay on a tiny island in Scotland called Colonsay. It’s one of the most beautiful places, and a place I’ve been going for years with my family. I write a lot of songs up there and Kiloran came very naturally. I was going through some relationship difficulties and was up there at the time and wrote it about that, and memories of being there with an ex girlfriend, and times we’d walked along Kiloran.

We as a band love that song and playing it live always gets a beautiful reception.

 

There’s a solid argument that So Long Forever was the shining light in a bleak 2016. What are you excited for this year? And what are you worried about?
Ah well thank ya kindly. We’re excited about our future as a band and seeing it grow and getting to play in amazing countries to amazing people. We love our job and every year brings new excitement.

There’s a lot to be worried about too in the world that we’re presently living in. It’s quite scary and our fears seem to be similar to most people’s. The world is in a very depressing place right now and it seems hard to see it getting better anytime soon.

 

In the spirit of our new issue, the past, which past experience would you like to go back and relive?

 

Seeing and holding our album vinyl for the first time and seeing the artwork was very special. Seeing the hard work come together like that was incredible and made us very proud to have done it all as friends.

I’d also like to go back and play a festival called Musilac in France again, we played to 20,000 people in the sun and it was just the bomb.

 

And finally, which artists are you really excited about at the moment?

 

Yellow Days is great. We love Island, Fat Relic, Jamie Lee’s poetry and amazing voice, Azusena, and Angel Olsen is ridiculously good.


Mad love to Leo for chatting to us, and if you haven’t heard Palace; do so.

Their album ‘So Long Forever’ is available now.

‘The Dilemma Of Being Women In The Dark’ – By Lucy Harbron

culture & society

“I’m most aware of my womanhood when I’m afraid”

In recent weeks, my university life has been flooded with horror stories. Weekly I walk roads where I’ve heard a girl my age was attacked, I think of her with sympathy, I think with gratitude that it wasn’t me. But mostly I’m afraid, all too aware of the proximity and reality of crimes I’m programmed to fear from infancy, so much so that they almost fade to fairy-tale. Until it happens in the street down from your flat.

On a walk home, in the dark, last week the girls I live with and I talked about the subject as we fast walked through well-lit streets, phones in hand, staying close. I think that’s when it hit me how much of a shared experience fear is within femininity. All of us had a story to tell of roaming hands forcing us out, but anxiety of possibility kept us in. It’s the dilemma, the threefold issue of being a girl, a young woman, on a night out.

Back home, this is when your mum would be giving you the speech, the weekly reminder to “not put your drink down, don’t go anywhere alone, look out for each other, be aware.” I once even got the speech off a female taxi driver; it’s innate, unrehearsed yet always performed.  For us girls, we must be reminded of the rules. Whereas my male companions normally receive only a “look after yourself, have fun”.

You arrive, and you fall into duality. I’ve talked to so many of my friends and they all agree on this; we will never relax. Regardless of how many vodka cokes I’ve downed, my drunk state could never persuade me to take my eyes off that bartender, or put that plastic cup down. A portion of my brain always remains sober when it comes to it, it’s the portion with the voice of my mother, the knowledge of periods and the true girl code; ‘how to try to not be raped’. And I can hear these thoughts echo around the women around the room, yet meanwhile I hear men say “I hope someone spikes me, I can’t afford my own drugs”, or pick up and drink anything they find when the funds run low.

A common scenario- Someone comes too close, a hand you don’t know touches your arm, your hip, your ass. You give your friend the look, and go to the toilets, the safe haven. You decide to leave.

Let’s ponder the weapons-

1)Taxi home alone.

2)Walk back with a group of friends.

3)Stay .

That’s the dilemma. Three big question marks choose your door.

1)I heard that story the other day about a girl being driven to the middle of nowhere. I’m new here, would I realise if we went the wrong way? How could I stop them? Do I sit in the front or the back, does it look like I don’t trust them if I sit in the back? But if I sit in the front, I’m easier to get to. It’ll be fine, I’ll text my friends when I’m home, What was the number plate again? Please don’t talk to me.

2)It’ll be fine, there’s guys with us, it’s practically day light, everyone’s walking back this way, it’ll be fine I’ll just tell my mum we got a taxi and oh god of course I’d never do this on my own.

3)Can we change rooms, that guys freaking me out? Oh okay after this song. Back on back, arm graze, someone stood on my foot, no air, I want to leave, why do people get so close? Can we change rooms?      Why does this always happen to me? Do I look easy? Is it how I dance, how I dress? Is it my fault? No.

The dilemma of being a girl at night- it’ll be fine it’ll be fine, as long as my phones got charge, I’ve got my keys and I’m never alone.

However, a friend reminded me of a point so often brushed under the carpet. Men are scared too. It would be wrong to assume that males are completely void of anxiety at night and have internalised no level of fear. But the argument that those levels of fear are similar, or at all comparable in indoctrination or ideal, is unfathomable. As articulated by my friend, Men fear violence, the worry of a fight or an altercation that in 90% of cases could’ve been avoided. Whereas girls, we not only fear violence (physical and sexual), but deceit, manipulation.

We learn gradually that our attackers, most likely, will not jump out of the trees but will walk us home holding our hand, drape their arm over our shoulder in a taxi. The spectrum of threat is so broadened it all blurs to an ingrained constant state of subtle vigilance. I like you, you seem kind, I like how you dance but I’ll follow you to the bar, never leave you with my drink.

I know not all men are rapists, women are not walking target boards, and the world is less scary than we imagine in our privileged lives. Yet all women are taught fear, we’re raised on it. The sisterhood of scared girls coming home at night, we make shallow conversation in the taxi back and live out our unspoken promise to always have a third eye watching the other. We hold hands as we walk the corner round to our real address, fingers laced together in a prayer than our daughters need never walk so fast. The shared experience and the shared hope that when the sisterhood is a motherhood, the dilemma is of outfits and the speech goes only “be there for each other, you look beautiful, be young.”