Week in Pop: Emily Ritz, Hélène Barbier, Pictorial Candi

Sjimon Gompers

The continuing adventures of Berlin pop designer Pictorial Candi; photographed by Moritz Freudenberg.

Pictorial Candi

Cover art for the new Pictorial Candi single, “Anaemic Wishes”; photographed by Moritz Freudenberg.

Berlin based artist Pictorial Candi has been painting illuminated musical portraits of everything from cherished memories, nostalgia to the unruly imagination of dreams & desires. Following up the album Forever till you die, Candi shares the star-shining new single “Anaemic Wishes” featured off the forthcoming Mansions & Millions compilation available April 6. Conducting a self-styled orchestra of well-selected set of mind-sweeping synthesizers, the audience witnesses the grandeur of candid proclamations that are arranged like electro-pop met by classic cinema show-tunes that are arranged with care. Candi’s music finds a certain ephemeral enchantment somewhere between the perceptive faculties of introspection & observation where emotions & streams of thought are entertained in an inspiring world of their own creation.

Pictorial Candi’s “Anaemic Wishes” dissects the nature of wants, needs & their inherent limitations. The song sets in like a crucial moment of reckoning in a movie that imagines our protagonist singing privy & guarded reflections in front of an elaborate vanity mirror. The soliloquy of song starts out as acapella as Candi’s yearnings for a visceral form of love cue an illustrious arrangement of synthesizer accompaniment. Wrestling with the continuum of hope & despair & the wishes that fall short of reality, the audience is brought into a world that feels like an iconic moment from an animated Disney film where story’s headstrong débutante laments the shortcomings & misgivings of dreams, goals & other narrative plot devices. “Anaemic Wishes” moves from the sanctuary of private chambers where fraught musings of frustrations are cast aside as Candi dismisses the implausibility of amour for proactive proclamations of finding a shared love while walking along bucolic hills & pastures of green. Candi’s song ultimately overcomes the short-sighted title notion of “Anaemic Wishes” as the song progresses to grand orations of tangible intimacy & courtship illustrated as part of the natural order of life & existence. The lesson we are left with is that wishes for true, feesible love our not outside of our grasp but rather a human necessity for both hope & happiness in our lives.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Pictorial Candi in a discussion about the new single & more:

Bring us up to date about everything that has been happening in the world of Pictorial Candi since the release of Forever Until You Die.

Time is a real tall club sandwich, counting the layers of stuff under a piece of lettuce is tricky biz. I guess what happened is I made two videos for two songs from that album, then shot a third video for a song from my upcoming album. In the meantime I moved to Berlin, that’s when the culprit of years of amateur scholarliness hit the fan, so I made a couple of TEDdy talks before my shows. I am interested in physics so I’d ramble about the holographic principle in black holes and its correlation with the holonomic brain theory model. “Consciousness and Symmetries in the Cosmos” for example has this divine bollocks vibe that I think fits with the music afterwards.

I’ve been working on my new album too, slowly. It’s an album about sadness, and yet not a sad album. It works like an exorcism charm, I’d be putting sadness in its place, well contained and at a distance so I can see it from afar. I think I’ll be done with getting the true blues after this. The music is reminisce of Hal Hartley’s film scores, there’s lots of layered counterpoint lines and a general yearning. I am having Adrienne Shelley (film director and Hal’s fetiche actress who died not long ago) in my mind a lot, feels like I should dedicate it to her.

What latest exciting endeavors both creative & otherwise have been happening in your worlds?

I had to pray to San Expedito real hard for him to throw me an idea that I’d be enamored with (it really works when atheists pray). I had a creative lagoon for a couple of months, I had been reading, gardening and gazing at birds like an old lady. So I got this: Do stand up dressed up in a fat suit. I’ve done it once before. I feel really good in a fat boy’s body. So I’ll make my Berlin debut in March under the alias Alois “Tubby” Baumbach. Tubby is a true schmuck. I’m excited about that. Is funny though that praying to San Expedito instantly delivered a fat boy vision. I later started writing a script for a film with a wise learned lady friend who lives in Seattle, very thrilled about that too.

In conversation with Pictorial Candi; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Your epic synth-symphony “Anaemic Wishes” is a gorgeous ballad. Tell us about how this track was made, how it came to be from it’s early draft stages to realization.

Thank you! Sure, I’ll tell ya. It was my 40th birthday. I made a big deal Salaam and rented out an indoor pool place with a giant jacuzzi. I was in Warsaw at the time. I was moving soon to Berlin and I wanted to pet my friends and myself, it was a goodbye party after 10 years. The expectation was huge. So I popped a lil thing and drank the dark liquids and too soon I was levitating over the jacuzzi while at the same time drowning in it. I was peeing all over myself, constantly and everywhere. But then I caught a glimmer of a sad look in a friend’s face and that triggered me to come down with such a speed, I really hit those all time lows. And after that, for a while, all I could hope for was to be able to clutch onto my husband’s arm, even at night, in bed, while everything else, life, crumbled to nothing, only wasteland in the senseless horizon. Sound familiar? Not going back to that. Oh no! No, no no no no no. Thanks.

The lyrics for “Anaemic Wishes” detail that feeling. It’s a bossa kind of ballad. Was mixed by my dear friend, sensitive and talented young man Karolini.

You mentioned that both Dena & Magic Island are also on this Mansions & Millions compilation, who are some of the artists to keep an ear out for on this collection?

They’re all truly fine as snow creamily pouring down from the mountains. I really wanted to use that phrase. Many friends are on this tape being inspired and following their ass wherever it takes them. Mansions & Millions is Anton Teichmann’s brain child. This is his mixtape, and it’s full of treasures.

Ken Chic
Helen Fry
John Moods
Bad Hammer
Ben & Magnus feat. DENA
Martha Rose
Magic Island

Leisurely lounging with Pictorial Candi; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Other artists & activists we should be informed about?

I am always entranced when I go to my friends shows in Warsaw. Obscure gems, rare and beautiful. Please check: Enchanted Hunters, Adam Repucha, Xenony, Kristen, Alameda trio (or anything from Kuba Ziołek). From Berlin, aside from the list I mentioned, I am excited to listen to Better Person, Sean Nicholas Savage, Molly Nillsson, Fenster, Dubais, Jaako Eino Kalevi, Henrich Ferdinand Jelinek…

What are some of the next endeavors & developments in the works for Pictorial Candi?

I’ll be looking to release my fourth album this year and making more videos. I’d like to collaborate with some musician friends here too. I am working on a track right now that is meant to be performed by four or more women about riding bicycles at night through Berlin with girlfriends while talking about architecture. I also want to expand my dance moves, hopefully I’ll shoot a dance video with Ally Schiff <3. Give us some notes & insights about the latest things happening in the Berlin scene.

For starters, Shameless/Limitless puts on good shows in Berlin and so does Joe Kelly from Indoor Music and drinks. Aside from that, it’s always good to explore all the nooks for surprise lil dangerous events but also just staying at home and imagining you’re exploring is fine.

Parting thoughts, kernels of wisdom, et al.?

I want Danny DeVito to want to have lunch with me in Laura Dern’s trailer.

Find Pictorial Candi’s new single “Anaemic Wishes” on the upcoming Mansions & Millions compilation available April 6.

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