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"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Marilyn Monroe said that.
Except, maybe she didn’t?
Nobody really knows.
Maybe somebody else said it.
Imperfection is beauty.
Madness is genius.
Ridiculousness is better than being boring.
All of which brings us to Glüme.
I have lost the favour of certain people for my refusal to bend the knee at the altar of the Burnage boys and their too plentiful offspring. I can’t pretend to love. I’m not Jeremy in “Peep Show”, willing to say he loves a girl on a first date just because it might drag him closer to another round of meaningless, emotionally absent, sex for the sake of sex. So it is with the innumerable bands dressed in anoraks, yelping about living your dreams and escaping the humdrum…I can’t say I love them just for likes, I can’t be the people in the crowd who can see that the Emperor is naked but lack the courage to point it out.
What I want from a band or an artist is glamour, wit, intelligence, artifice, art and courage.
I want someone to love.
I want someone who’s favourite liquid is tears and who knows that those same tears are the water of Heaven and the salt of the earth.
I want someone who understands that truth is stranger than fiction.
I want someone who rejects nostalgia and futurism, someone who is here… and not here.
I want Glüme.
Glüme is someone worthy of your love, your affection and your adoration. Devotion?
On the surface Glüme appears to be only surface. Carefully, possibly too carefully, applied make-up. Ruby red lips that, on the face of another, could be shaped for sin but that on her pale face serve notice that something here, maybe nothing here, is quite what it appears to be. The savage blonde curls, reminiscent not of her heroine, Marilyn Monroe, but of Annie Lennox in the “Savage” period of The Eurythmics. Alien. Other. Unsettling.
The kawaii, Harajuka girl look of “What is Feeling?”, where Japanese school girl meets 1950’s American sailor could be, in the hands of a lesser artist, the stuff of titillation or eroticism but that isn’t what is happening with Glüme, instead the look serves only to remind you of how not any of that this is. The same is true of the other looks she presents in the films that accompany her work, what could be something simply sexual is cut through with a darkness that pushes any such notions far from the mind.
This is the closest pop music has come to capturing the heart of David Lynch. Other contemporaries of Glüme also dabble with Lynchian ideals and themes…Automatic, The Wants and even Lana Del Rey…but it is here that pop meets the dark, unsettling, disturbing, nostalgic, soul of Lynch. These songs are “Eraserhead”, “Blue Velvet”, “Mulholland Drive” and, perhaps more than anything else, “Inland Empire”.
If you know, you will know.
Her debut album, “The Internet”, is a concept album…an experimental work… a manifesto…a declaration…the sound of the future and the past, all in 42 minutes. This is shimmering, ethereal, melancholic, widescreen, synth pop of the sort that boys in dreadful clothes and even more dreadful shoes will dismiss solely on the grounds that they don’t understand it. It is impossible to appreciate art, or artifice, when you have no soul.
It is difficult for people who live in a world of lumpen, chunky, heritage rock… who see the film only as an accompaniment to their popcorn…who see Liam Gallagher as a style icon…to enter into the world that Glüme has created. This is not the sound of “Rubber Soul” or the cinema of “Mission Impossible 13”. This is not a Stuckist interpretation of art. This is not Jack Vetriano’s “The Singing Butler”. This is something very much better than those things… my hope is that you are the sort of person who will understand why.