These Insouciant Witches: Pop Coven

I’ve been writing a weekly prose poem since the inauguration of the forty-fifth president. The premise is simple–three numbers from a random number generator which correspond to tarot’s major arcana are the prompt to write a horoscope of sorts that covers the week endured and looks forward to the week to endure.

It’s simply a prompt, a way for me to exercise my frustrations, anger, and sadness while keeping vigilant managing at least an ember of resistance. 

It is, of course, a distraction, and when I’m really down on myself, it feels like a kind of onanism. But it is also a fun practice, a way to keep writing, to keep listening, to keep my mind on what is happening and hold myself accountable.

Writing is a kind of magic and poetry the most powerful species of it. I’ve no belief in any divinity. Yet, I can’t pretend that there isn’t something enticing about magical thinking.

When I think of magic, I think of witches. When I imagine a witch, she isn’t a crone or some kitschy, scary archetype. Rather, a witch to me is a woman with fierce thoughts and munificent will. Witches aren’t good or evil. Witches have no concern for what I or anyone like me thinks or feels. 

I admire witches. I covet their covens. 

Their unity, their inviolate selves are a state of being to strive towards. Although it is one I will always fall short of.

I was thinking about this the other day while meandering through Twitter. An exchange with the utterly brilliant Lisa Marie Basile (@lisamariebasile & @LunaLunaMag) led me to consider music and witchery. More specifically, who makes up the pop music coven I most admire?

For this, I decided to use The Craft as my model, that is, four enchantresses.

Lana Del Rey

Here in Kentucky, there has been no proper Winter. Yet, when Lana Del Rey released Love it somehow felt like Spring bloomed. Few things are as uplifting as this track which isn’t just about youth but about feeling hopeful and free in the face of everything. There aren’t enough songs like this, and with Del Rey’s unique presentation of 60s flowerchild filtered through a sultry neo-Nico persona, this song is bewitching.

Lorde

This song is gloriously addictive, and the video intensely free. What I love the most about this video is how entirely unto herself Lorde’s character is. Not just lost in her dance, but her music, and her thoughts. She isn’t performing for anyone and the indifference to any gaze belittles any gazer. It’s that wonderful freedom of dancing, singing, alone for no one but oneself.

K.Flay

My first encounter with K. Flay was last year with the track ‘Blood in the Cut.’ That song quickly found itself in every playlist. It tapped into the aggressiveness of darkwave/goth music without being needlessly theatrical. I’ve been devouring K. Flay’s work. Recently, this single popped up, and I can’t stop myself from playing it over and over, lip-syncing it in my house, and barely keeping myself from dancing in public was it repeats infinitely in my earbuds.

Bat For Lashes

Natasha Khan is one of the most glorious musicians out there. Bat For Lashes hit me hard with Two Suns but it was her side project Sex Witch that led me to adore her music. I’m still letting her latest release The Bride stew in my mind. It’s an album that haunts my thoughts.

**

There are, of course, more. I’m always on the look out for witches. 

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