You can spot My Best Fiend’s musical influences fairly easily on their expansive debut In Ghostlike Fading: the soul-searching gospel-rock of Spiritualized, Jesus & Mary Chain’s perversions of Spector’s Wall of Sound, the dusty balladry of Mazzy Star to name a few. In other words, a lineage of bands dedicated to wide open spaces, bottomless yearning and skyscraping volume. The exact opposite of library music, in other words. And yet, In Ghostlike Fading found its emotional muses in dusty works of fiction, much of it decades and even centuries old. Here, the Brooklyn-via-Philly quartet share with us their top five inspirational heroines.
1. June Miller
In her diary, Anais Nin writes of June Miller, “Others feel because of her; and because of her, others write poetry; because of her, others hate; others, like Henry, love her in spite of themselves.” Her beauty was immortalized by two literary giants.
2. Margerita (The Master and Margerita)
From the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master And Margerita, the latter of the title characters inspires and supports her novelist husband, until, that is, she strips off her clothes and flies around Moscow on a broom.
“Just like a murderer jumps from nowhere in an ally, love jumped out in front of us and struck us both at once”
3. Lady Brett Ashely (The Sun Also Rises)
In Hemingway’s daydream of wandering expatriates, Brett repeatedly infuriates and charms and is a bittersweet reminder that a little complication is never a bad thing.
4. Alabama Worely (True Romance)
As a former employee of a comic book store, I’ve always dreamed of meeting a beautiful novice hooker, rob her pimp, have a proper Hollywood gunfight, and flee to a beach to grow old. With a note in my pocket that says “You’re so cool”.
5. Betty (Betty Blue)
Poor, doomed, and passionate, the title character from this 1986 French film is beautiful and very umm … passionate about her husband’s manuscript. There is a moment when they are living in a piano store in Paris where you desperately wish you could freeze time and live in this bohemian paradise, but unfortunately the bliss ends in a violent but grotesquely inspirational way.