Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss, the latest collection of hypnotic, ethereal blues from Clara Engel, took the cricket all the way back to this mystery of a girl we used to know, back when we were much younger than today. She was a mystery but she was also as seemingly innocent as they come. She had dark hair and ivory skin, and she loved kissing in the shadows. And she had the pointiest canines– bright white and near razor sharp– I’ve ever seen. Except on vampires.
One night I walked with her through a dark field at the edge of a swirling ocean of a crowd gathered for a music festival. She pulled me along by the hand as she looked for shadows in the night. And when she found the darkest shadows she could find under a massive oak at the farthest edge of the field, she pushed me up against the tree and looked up at me and smiled. Mysterious, innocent, seductive. Her bright white and near razor sharp canines shone in the darkness. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled her lips to my ear. “You know I’m a vampire. Right?”
And of course I’d had the thought. You couldn’t see those teeth and not have the thought. But the rational– or maybe the cynical– part of me knew it wasn’t true. That it couldn’t be true. But there was another part of me– the part of me that felt most alive in that moment, the part that wanted mystery and danger and seduction– that part thought maybe, just maybe, it was true. And maybe that part of me– as this mysterious, innocent girl with dark hair and ivory skin and pointy canines slid her lips from my ear to my neck and sank her teeth into my flesh– maybe that part of me even hoped it was true.
And that’s how Clara Engel’s latest feels. Mysterious, innocent, seductive, but with an underlying, almost spiritual menace. It reveals itself gradually, patiently, almost imperceptibly, and pulls you in slowly, wrapping its arms around you and whispering softly in your ear. “Demons are real.”
And be sure to check out the Clara Engel Bandcamp site here.