Faith Eliott – Impossible Bodies
Faith Eliott's debut album Impossible Bodies is a modern kind of bestiary, one whose often splendidly poetic images can also paint intimate portraits of human experience
Originating in the ancient world, bestiaries were often created by medieval scribes as illustrated tomes documenting various animals and the symbolic significance that they had. Faith Eliott’s debut album Impossible Bodies takes this concept into a very contemporary musical setting that is frequently engaging in its lyricism.
The magic of Impossible Bodies is drawn from the images that Eliott weaves in their work. Their words vividly depict the narratives of each animal, as on Grouper where they describe tropical fish that 'gleam like painted gargoyles propelled by unknowable forces in their mercury hearts'. These observations and tales are often accompanied by more personal reflections. On Lilith, the shedding of skin is both literal and a cipher for identity: 'And they’ll see that you were never a snake / Just as I was never a woman'. Even when these stories look towards something even greater than fauna, Eliott grounds these tales in experience; opener Carl Sagan Cosmos Song reflects on the infinity of space but begins with an expression of anxiety and a session binge-watching the titular show.
The musical landscape that Eliott’s words lie across (often sparsely guitar-led but occasionally grandly orchestral or dusty and mysterious) makes it even easier to appreciate the worlds crafted across Impossible Bodies. This is a modern kind of bestiary, one whose often splendidly poetic images can also paint intimate portraits of human experience.
Listen to: Laika, Carl Sagan Cosmos Song