Tag Archives: aesthetic

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

The Bilinda Butchers – Careless Teens

ImageImageImageImageAww. This video for ‘Careless Teens’ by The Bilinda Butchers is really priddy and makes me yearn for a lazy sunny day where I can just do whatever I feel like. I discovered this band a couple of months ago when I first heard ‘The Lovers’ Suicide’, which also made me think of the weather. It was March and still snowing a lot in London, so it felt strangely appropriate to be listening to the lines: “Like a flower can’t bloom in the snow / We can’t hide, we can’t grow!”

Don’t you think that this video is almost like a lookbook for some kind of hipster fashion brand, like Wildfox or Cheap Monday, or something? When I saw it, I felt that it evoked a real girly ‘Tumblr’ aesthetic. Hopefully the maker of the video, Vanesa Capitaine, won’t be offended by that description – she does seem to use Tumblr a fair bit!

Azealia Banks – Atlantis

Woah. So following the smokingly chic and understated video for ‘1991‘, Azealia Banks’ new video for ‘Atlantis’ is the embodiment of ‘fashionably ugly‘ graphic design.The aesthetic is all so self-consciously low-tech and nineties, that I almost expected for some Clipart to make an appearance.

Seriously, there’s even a bit where Brush Script lettering is used to spell out some lyrics. I’m not sure I’m into it – I’m too much of a font snob!

It could have been much worse, though. It could have been Comic Sans. I don’t think we’re at the stage where it’s considered ‘funny’ or ‘ironic’ to use Comic Sans, but I’m telling you…that day will inevitably come, and no doubt the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will show up soon after.

Tame Impala – Elephant

I love this new single by Tame Impala. Although they have still retained their mellow sound, they have added a foot-stomping beat to it and some trippy disco synths. The finished result, titled ‘Elephant’ is incredible! The video, which was created by artist Yoshi Sodeoka, possesses all the attributes that I’ve now come to expect from this genre of music – chromatic effects, kaleidoscopic visuals and vivid colours. This neo-psychedelic aesthetic is beginning to look sort of clichéd and predictable, but I still like it, so I’m not going to whine about the fact that bands are kind of doing it to death.