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10 December

‘Tales’ van Bosch

 

As an earnest, toothy twelve-year-old, Zanna van Vorstenbosch was runner-up in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Twelve years later, working as van Bosch, the Dutch model-turned-sea- siren returns to her founding passion with her forthcoming debut LP, Speed of Wood (2021).

 

 

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu9fZfu5BQU

 

 

Having glided like an unbothered sylph through a New York City most can only imagine, she stayed gold, never forgot herself. “Modeling opened the world to me,” she writes, “but music secures a space in it.” From her vantage at photo shoots she saw something all around her:

 

“The need to prove that we are successful in a material way,” she writes, was “prioritized without balance (both a balance within ourselves and with the world outside ourselves) and without attention to how to deal with mental health, relationships, stress, or how to dream, or how to love.” The protective barricade of wealth also forbade entrance to beautiful risk and hard truth— while letting slip through the paranoia and bloated self-regard which flourish when too few people are brave enough to tell us the truth.

 

So she wrote this song about it. “Count your prey, play your games,” she begins, “so much to prove, so little to gain.”

 

 

Interesting piano work, excellent drumming, well-wrought song structure, and the haunted wind of Old-World witchery all support a majestic vocal performance. (Wait for it.) And if, as you listen, you begin to think of Nico, Anika, or PJ Harvey, you’re not entirely right, but you’re not entirely wrong.

 

 

If “Tales,” as a song, is an indemnification of status without stature, money without meaning, and the loneliness of empty achievement, the video, Zanna says, is a ritual attempt to heal them, to bring them into a shadow-place free of arrogance, free of sight, free of the safe, overdetermined meanings toward which we strive: A Holy Virgin sits forbidding in theatre eyebrows behind an open veil, awaiting the return of her prodigals. Tears spill through a suffocating shroud. What is the difference between protection and imprisonment?

 

 

A woman sings directly into (or maybe under) dark water. Her wail ripples through it, elocuting the abyss beneath all she denounces, all she means to save, and she does not drown. What does it mean to sing lyrics against words? “The moment that you have your mind made up, the moment that you think it’s a certain way,” Zanna writes, “you lose that beauty. You can’t put your words on it, you can’t put your fingers on it. The moment that it’s in between, that’s where you can start to understand, that’s where you get fulfilled.”

 

 

“If you want to find some meaning to life” she sings, “don’t be too proud to say you know you’re blind.”

 

 

- Written by Alan Bajandas

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