Meet the trio making folk that isn't a throwback.
Paris trio Oracle Sisters’ unique dream pop is visually rich and softly psychedelic, like reading poetry while microdosing having recently fallen lightly in love. They evoke the 70s golden era of lucid soft rock but without erring into pastiche. They evince magic and escape but without making life seem too easy.
Their latest single, “From Kay’s to the Cloisters”, follows a Dickensian folk anti-hero through the streets of Edinburgh, borrowing money from friends only to buy them drinks and working out his demons along the way. The track puts faith in the timeless combination of a beautiful vocal, lilting guitar line and a poetic character study to become a cinematic slice of anti-pop that leaves you waiting for the next chapter in the story.
Listen up below and read on about the band’s recent phone calls with a Chilean tarot card reader and a soon-to-be centenarian.
Describe your music in three words…
Lucid dream melody.
Who is your greatest influence?
Julia: My father who introduced me to jazz from an early age.
Lewis: Charlie Chaplin, M.K Ghandi, Herman Melville, Chopin, John Jacob Niles, Joe Strummer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Howling Wolf and Rimbaud are a few.
Who’s the last person you called?
Lewis: Vincent Livelli, the 99-year-old impresario, writer and Afro-Cuban dancer.
Julia: A Chilean tarot reader called Cosmo Gonik.
Chris: A mechanic in Saint Epain, a small city 300km from Paris where my 1990 Opel Omega broke down on my way from the South of France.
What did you talk about?
Lewis: We spoke about Greenwich village in the 40´s, his meeting with ‘the Bird’ Charlie Parker, the origins of ‘Grass’ culture in the Afro Cuban community and about the book we published together ‘Historietas’..and his 100th birthday plans.
Chris: Astrology and second hand alternators.
Julia: I told him I was sure there are hundreds of spirits walking the streets of Edinburgh…
What’s one album you couldn’t live without?
Lewis: Blue – Joni Mitchell
Julia: Ram – Paul McCartney
Chris: Catch a Fire – The Wailers
Which era of history would you most like to be transported to?
Lewis: Edo Era Japan.
Julia: The 20s Jazz Age.
What would be the first thing you did when you got there?
Lewis: Find Hokusai and Hiroshige.
Julia: I’d find myself in Harlem’s Cotton Club listening to Duke Ellington perform, and later dance the Charleston in a flapper dress with Jimmie Rodgers.
What’s your favourite way to spend 10Euros?
Lewis: Buying and sharing croissants during sunrise.
Julia: Buying a book!
Chris: I met a girl who spent her last 10 euros on a bag of hot croissants that she shared with strangers on the steps of the Sacré Cœur at sunrise. That’s certainly my favourite way to watch someone spend 10 euros.
Time or Money?
Lewis: Always time, it’s like asking conk shells or the ocean?
Julia: Time, measured by the sun, the moon and the stars on an island where I’d live with my loved ones and money is out of mind.
What’s “From Kay’s to the Cloisters” about?
Lewis: “From Kay’s to the Cloisters” is written by Chris in the band and is about his friendship with someone in Edinburgh that is both meandering poetic and tragi-comedic. It’s a portrait of a friend and a city really, like any painter would do except it doesn’t glorify, it shows the lines and cracks in the make up of it all. It is also our little winter hymn before our January release of our next single “Most of All” welcoming the new year.
Follow Oracle Sisters here.
20 November 2019