KAELA SINCLAIR Comfortably residing in a space all her own - far from the typical cookie cutter singer/songwriter, yet somehow uniquely familiar and inviting, lies the massively gifted orchestral pop songstress, Kaela Sinclair. Drawing from a deep well of influences ranging from Björk, Rufus Wainwright and Regina Spektor to classical composers like Debussy and Chopin, Sinclair is armed with an uncanny knack for writing unforgettably gorgeous melodies, coupled with lyrics that are earnest, reflective and mysterious.
Midway through recording her sophomore album, Kaela was handpicked from hundreds of singers from around the world to join the seminal electro-pop band M83 for the ensuing world tour.
I shouldn’t be writing about this yet. But my travels and my love life are wrapped up as one, blending together in a whirlwind of touring, long-haul flights, and the culinary delights that sometimes lead to a softer physique in a relationship. Until now.
Two trips, two eras. One at the beginning, one at the end. Both exquisite. Both break my heart a little now.
Winter in Europe is a very good excuse to get physically closer to someone. He met me in Utrecht, where I’d just finished the last show of a tour. Literally nothing was more romantic to me than the moments we were floating in. Architecture, history, music and this person who made my head spin, and ahead of us - Amsterdam, Paris, and London.
In Amsterdam we stayed in a hostel and walked around and around the city, obsessed with the canals and the legal drugs. Already high on touring and love, not ready to stop being wild... came truffles. Next, throwing up in the bathroom (me, not him) laughing fits, and a revelation or two. In our Dutch mod-but-80’s bathroom was a spaceship-like black bathtub filled with water that had turned pink from my hair...we thought it looked like a womb.
Don’t laugh, well, do. I don’t regret a thing. At 4 AM we talked about our childhoods.
I was in a phase of my life where I was up for anything, pushing my own limits. We almost missed the morning train to Paris, because we were both just...like that. Paris was raining, but perfect. You can imagine. He grew up nearby, so he took me to his favorite spots and later I wrote everything down, because these were the moments that could fill a memoir. If I ever wanted to do such a thing.
My heart physically ached from desiring the things that were right in front of me, feverishly. Blissful, madly in love with Europe and everything it held for me.
I invested in shoes that could withstand snow and freezing rain. //
Fast forward to this summer...we were in Sicily. I drove us through the hills and the villages that seemed trapped in time. The island’s volcano an existential reminder that endings can come unexpectedly, with sudden strength...because that’s just the way things go sometimes.
That night there was a party at the villa, surrounded by olive trees, hills, and even giant, friendly pigs. Under the full moon we drank wine, we laughed, we knew what was coming but couldn’t face it. Not here. I pointed out red Mars in the sky, glowing much brighter than usual. The god Ares, passionate and untempered. We argued. We collapsed in the bed, sleepy from a day of sun.
In the next days we explored coastal towns, swam in the sea, enjoyed uniquely Sicilian natural foods in villages perched on precariously steep slopes. Once again I did my best to absorb and remember everything that was happening to me. Again in a faraway land with this person who made my world spin.
A few weeks before I had started to feel a dull, but constant physical ache in my chest, and now it was growing, taking up space that was meant for air. Mediterranean air. It reminded me of what I’d felt on our first adventures together, and that was puzzling. If you can put a name on this feeling, tell me what it is. What I do know, now, is that it is the other side of the same coin. It is the heart radiating once again, using it’s power to set us on our path.