Women We Watch: Rachel Goswell
Deep breath… here at Tatty Devine, we’re big fans of 90’s shoegaze legends, Slowdive, so when a little bird told us that their singer/guitarist Rachel Goswell is just a little keen on us, we just had to have a chat. Emails flew back and forth from Shoreditch to Chicago as we caught Rachel on tour, talking all things Mexicana, music and the amazing women she’s watching, just for a day...
CAN YOU SUM UP WHAT YOU DO IN FIVE WORDS?
Sing, Play Guitar & Fuse Glass (@missgglass) - I know that's more than five words but wanted to get that in..!
FANGIRL MOMENT, TEAM TATTY ARE PRETTY BIG FANS OF SLOWDIVE! FOR SOMEONE UNINITIATED WITH YOUR MUSIC, WHERE DO YOU SUGGEST THEY START?
Thank you so much! Well, we have four albums out. Our latest album “Slowdive” was released in 2017 so I think that's the best starting point and then you can go back in time to "Souvlaki "(released in 1993) which is now hailed as a “classic”.
FROM PODCASTS TO PLAYLISTS, WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO INSPIRE YOU?
I don’t tend to listen to either of these options actually! There are loads of musicians that are brilliant that I listen to but also inspiration comes from life around me - peoples life stories can be so interesting - Artists that I find inspiring are Yayoi Kusama and Frida Kahlo particularly. Inspiration I have always found in nature around me and I live quite close to the sea so I love going there when I need some thinking time.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE ON A PIECE OF MUSIC, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I always love singing with and for different artists and I’ve been lucky to be asked by a few bands over the years to sing on their records with American Football being the latest band (their album will be released in March)
I would love to sing for The War on Drugs actually - I think that would be really interesting to do and I love Adam’s voice. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds are a band I grew up listening to from the age of 16 and I have deep admiration for their prolific back catalogue of work. It would also be great to sing with a female artist too - this is something you don’t see so much - Nadine Shah & Sharon Van Etten both have amazing voices.
Photo credit: Hideka Kobayashi, The Arts Institue - Chicago Feb 2019
WHAT DO YOU PERSONALLY REGARD AS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT?
This is such a difficult question to answer but I have to say becoming a mother is my biggest achievement. I never thought I would be and it was a very rocky road to eventually get there with a few losses along the way. I think each life is a miracle.
WHAT’S THE BEST DECISION YOU EVER MADE?
Moving to Devon and getting out of London is high up there. I lived in London for 17 years but longed for the countryside. I’ve been at my happiest where I live now.
Photo credit: @mattliefandsersonstudio Chicago Feb 2019
I don’t believe in having regrets because I think it can be a destructive emotion to linger on. Having said that I also cannot think of a particularly bad decision I’ve made?!
WHICH TATTY DEVINE PIECE IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
WE HEARD YOU'RE QUITE THE FAN OF MEXICAN FOLK ART. WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO IT AND WHERE/HOW DO YOU SOURCE YOUR FINDS?
I became fascinated with Day of The Dead about fifteen years ago now - I can’t remember what triggered the fascination specifically but when I read about the rituals around that day in Mexico. I love the fact that this is a day for celebrating and remembering your loved ones that have passed on and its just such a positive, beautiful thing. I love the art around this day particularly with the Sugar Skulls and I collect Retablos (the wooden boxes with skeletal figurines in depicting various scenes). I love the Milagros which are folk charms that are traditionally used in Mexico for healing purposes and as votive offerings. They can depict many different things like hearts, legs, ears etc.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Mexico three times and spent a couple of weeks there on a small island called Isla Mujeres for my honeymoon last year (which was my second visit to the island because I love it so much). I can see myself going back and exploring much deeper in the years ahead and of course, would love to be in Mexico for Day of the Dead one year which incidentally is also my husbands birthday (lucky him!).
I have a particularly generous friend who has over the years given me some wonderful pieces as she travels regularly to Mexico for family. On my visits there I have chosen items that are pretty special to bring home.
WHICH WOMEN ARE YOU WATCHING RIGHT NOW?
Oh, there are so many talented women out there in the world my list is very long! Now that I am older (47) I watch with interest, younger musicians and how they are dealing with social media and growing up with such scrutiny that is immediate with the age we live in. It’s been so great seeing how Sharon Van Etten has grown in the last few years and Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) is a force to be reckoned with. Sasami is a rising star and I know she will do very well. On the flip side, I love following Patti Smith who is so open and talkative with her fans online. Seeing women older than me that are still in the music industry is so valuable and something for me still to aspire to. Age is but a number.
I am a huge jewellery fan of course and there are many smaller independent makers around the world that are just making incredible things - Larissa Loden in Minneapolis, Michala Eken in Copenhagen to name just a couple. Staying with Copenhagen, I must mention Matilde Digman does the most amazing handcrafted ceramics that are really quirky. She also does illustrations and fine art. I stumbled across Matilde via Instagram a couple of years ago now and just fell in love with her work. Her pieces are very special. She also does the most insane murals on buildings too.
Estelle is a close friend of mine and in the last year she has begun to create beautifully bespoke upholstered furniture and soft furnishings with a love of mid-century design she turns dull chairs and footstools (anything of this ilk really) into velvety goodness with nods towards popular culture and Tretchikoff/JH Lynch. Estelle has a long back history of working in the fashion industry and furniture renovation and like so many women took some time out to concentrate on motherhood for a while. It’s so great to see her now doing what she loves and she deserves every success.
Juli Santini lives in Argentina and has her own clothing range - she is very popular over there with younger women and also makes the most exquisite dresses with delicate beaded embroidery. She made a beautiful dream dress last year that I wore when we played at Hyde Park as part of The Cure’s 40th-anniversary celebrations.
Sju makes the most fabulous hats! I started wearing hats last year - after actually trying to find one for my husband (he’s been wearing one for years) and someone recommended Sju to me - well, I ended up buying myself one of her hats which I love (in my profile pic on Instagram) and then met Sju in Brighton in December last year where she very kindly gave me some more hats for my collection. Turns out she loves Slowdive! Lucky me :) Sju is passionate about her hats and stylistically what she creates is really fabulous. She is French, 30 yrs old and has a shop in London - she became obsessed with hats when her grandfather gave her a hat that was made in the 1920s when she was a child.
Thanks so much, Rachel. We're just falling into a recommendations rabbit hole, BRB... whilst we pore over those unreal Instagram accounts, have a listen to Slowdive here, get a feel for Miss G Glass here and let yourself fall for our Love Tokens collection online and in store now!