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BOTW Moodboard: We Were Evergreen

Parisian artistes We Were Evergreen flaunt an impressive array of cultural inspirations in this week’s run-down of things that make a so-called BOTW tick. Encompassing sculpture, poetry, filmmaking, architecture, ethnography, absurdism and Brazilian post-Bossa Nova, it’s a stunning platter of obscurities that will open your eyes. Without further ado…

JULIEN GRACQ – Le Rivage des Syrtes (“The Opposing Shore”)
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‘Early 20th-century poets such as Michaux and Lautréamont are a great influence on our lyrics. They definitely also inspired French writer Gracq’s Le Rivage des Syrtes – a portrait of a town stuck in the centenary expectation of a war. Like the seashore it conjures up, it is obscure and slow-moving, but rippled with surrealist imagery and vivid poetry. Its obsession with fossilization and movement clearly relates to many songs on the album.’

Hannah Höch – ‘Indian Dancer : From an Ethnographic Museum’
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‘We love the superposition and twist of images, textures and meanings in the art of collage. Again, surrealism struck us a lot as teenagers, and we rediscovered it through the Whitechapel Gallery’s retrospective on Hannah Hoch. We like the clash of periods, genders, skins and stone, and that mute screaming mouth (yes, contradictions are great).’

Cavara, Prosperi & Jacopetti – Mondo Cane (1962)

‘This was the first documentary in its genre: three Italian filmmakers taking a cynical look (the title translates as “A Dog’s World”) at modern western societies compared to more traditional ones, showing the evolution of rituals and myths and how present they still are.’

‘Sensing Spaces’

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‘This humbling architecture exhibition at London’s Royal Academy was a breath of fresh air, and a great way of traveling without going too far. Since we moved to England, we’ve travelled a lot across Europe and further. It’s something we want to keep doing as long as we can – and this type of exhibition helps us stay aware of what’s going on around the world.’

Novos Baianos – Acabou Chorare (1972)

‘South American music is a great source of inspiration, especially early Brazilian MPB with its blend of traditional and pop – we love artists such as João Gilberto, Jorge Ben or this refreshing band of mountain-dwelling hippies called Novos Baianos, whose album ‘Acabou Chorare’ is pure sunshine.’

Pulkone – Live @ Rinse TV

Pulkone – Rinse France Live Set by rinsefrance

‘A French web platform showcasing live music video sessions, helping discover new electronic artists from France. Pulkone are just in their early twenties, and their live sets are really groovy, which is something we try to maintain in our recorded songs and performances. From jazz to all-time-pop to current electro, we prefer when there is a live and dynamic feel to it.

‘Shinichi Sawada – ‘Untitled’ 2006-10, clay, natural glaze; private collection
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‘A piece from a great exhibition that we saw at London’s Wellcome Collection about Chinese Souzou art. There is something quite rhythmical about the spikes and shape of this creature, it is both creepy and charming. Metamorphosis and mythology are both important parts of the album’s themes.’

Pina Bausch, ‘Café Müller’

‘We discovered this piece through Wim Wenders’s film Pina and were deeply moved by it. This extract echoes a bit our looping process in studio and the way we often end up structuring our songs, like a growing, self-degrading movement. We were amazed by the deep pain and meaning translated into every single movement.’

BORIS VIAN
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‘One of our mutual favourite artists is Boris Vian, a French writer, poet, engineer, composer and trumpet-player, author of the now-classic ‘L’Ecume des Jours’ – a poetic, absurd novel on love and friendship, set in a dreamlike, jazz-time Paris, in a prose both desperate and humorous. We love his ability to jump through genres (he also wrote scandalous noir American-inspired thrillers under the alias Vernon Sullivan), his unique way with words and penchant for the nonsensical.’

Charles & Ray Eames – “A Communications Primer” (1953)

‘This documentary partly influenced our next video for the song ‘Best Thing’. We were interested in trying to understand the links between visual communication and sounds, by exploring different ways of communication (from morse code to semaphore), using choreography and perspectives (but we can’t say too much right now!).’

- Huw Oliver



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