Perhaps its dirge-like quality is what initially drew me in, with a tuba line that is straight up sexy. “Babe’s Lair” by the french solo project Walt & Vervain, takes indie pop to a new level of strange. French and English lyrics are ambiguously intertwined, making for an ethereal vibe. I felt like I was at Coney Island on an overcast day, half-expecting Tom Waits to magically appear out of nowhere.
This song bleeds nostalgia for the unknown. The kind where you’re overcome by fleeting impressions of the past that leave you craving more. You know when you look into someone’s eyes and instantly feel you’ve known them your whole life? They make you fall in love with love. I’m talking about the person who ends up mingling in the depths of your mind, materializing only in your dreams. He is perpetually doomed to loiter in the periphery of your awareness; yet he has been known to surrender his silhouette into the shadows of your night. Withdrawing into the wilderness of dreams, anything is possible as you are boundless and free to explore the labyrinth of your mind, sans physical limitations.
The hazy divide between waking and sleeping can be deceptive, and the video animation of this song captures the mysterious essence of the dream life where anything goes. The description of the video reads “for a man who’s wasting his time in the tired souls’ cave…” and it is a tribute to the german expressionists, Lotte Reiniger, and the game Limbo. The scenes remind me of a Walt Whitman line that goes “by sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read.” This song is a trip, an other-worldly escape from the scurf of daily experience. As you listen, let it take you back into your lair, drifting through slumber towards the infinite.