The Classical, “My Affection”

Sam Lefebvre

In 2014, Bay Area outfit The Classical self-released Diptych—an ornately composed, stirring full-length that evokes the drama of stage theater and film scores, which Time Released Sound later reissued—and the first indication of new material since is “My Affection”, a chilled meditation on the other people populating vocalist Juliet Gordon’s inner-life.

The video was filmed on a submarine, the USS Pampanito, where Gordon works as a tour guide. Images of a mirror, a gun, and a sea creature recur, punctuated portraits of Gordon against unnaturally colored expanses of sky. As Gordon explains, the song grapples with the dissolution of a relationship.

“My way of dealing with it, at the time, took a very curious, semi-conscious form. I suddenly became aware, again, of this voice inside me, a decidedly male voice and presence, that started calling me back inside myself,” she shares. “It was a voice I had heard before but had mostly forgotten about, and it would often occur to me while I was looking in a mirror, as though he was right behind my eyes, looking out at my image. And he was very seductive. He was somehow able to promise me everything.

“So I gave in to whatever this voice was, and became very withdrawn from the actual human relationship. I felt like I was living a double life: with my partner I became combative or aloof, but meanwhile I began having this very active and dynamic inner life. I started reading a lot of Lispector, you know. And that’s where we went with the submarine in the video. It’s the difference between the radiant inner life and the outer, armed-to-the-teeth one.”

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