Lady Charles and the Humanity of Godliness in "Godx"by Acacia Carr / October 1st, 2022
From the Blog / October 2022 - Issue 1 of 1
glitter and spice and everything nice
Lady Charles is a shapeshifting glam rock witch(er) from Canada. Their music blends glam rock iconography with punk rock abandon, DIY indie spirit with swirling synths and euphoric harmonies.
“Godx” – Single and Music Video by Lady Charles
Lady Charles brings us the provocative new Single “Godx”, a song about a gender fluid deity who inspires joy and love in the hearts of all who listen to their song.
This is a synth pop masterpiece crafted from a place of grace, designed to inspire thoughtful reflection without hitting us over the head with an overt message.
Examining divinity and sexuality through the lens of human experience
From the first moment I saw clips of “Godx” I knew I simply had to feature Lady Charles and get to know more about this creative genius. In watching the full video and in thinking about their thoughtful lyrics, I found myself exploring some deep aspects of my own psyche as well as that of our shared human experience.
What is the nature of sexuality? What is the nature of religion? What is the nature of nature, what is the nature of humanity, and what is the nature of divinity? Let me take you on a journey through the ages as we explore these concepts together.
While 3 of the 5 major world religions espouse the idea of one God in a patriarchal sense, many religions worldwide believe in multiple deities including male and female, Gods and Goddesses. We can look to examples of this in the pantheon of Greek literature as well as within Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Santeria, most traditional African religions, ancient Sumerianism, various neopagan faiths, and most forms of Hinduism.
Many of these polytheistic religions also embrace the importance of nature in their worship.
We see this concept expressed in the Yin and Yang of Chinese and Japanese origin. Yin is the symbol of earthliness and femininity. It’s symbolic of darkness and obscurity. Yang is seen as heavenly, male, and the light. It is the penetrating force that enters the darkness of Yin and with it brings light. One is not conceived of as better than the other in this model—in fact both sides are needed to balance each other out. As such the Yin Yang symbol represents these 2 opposite forces in harmony with each other.
In the spiritual practices of the Indigenous peoples of North America we find the concept of the Two-Spirit. It is a phrase used to describe those whose spirit represents both the male and female aspects in unison within one human form. A Two-Spirited person may have been born biologically male, biologically female, or biologically intersex. In these tribal societies the Two-Spirit individual was considered neither male or female but a third distinct gender.
In this Blog writer’s own family, European relatives experienced culture shock when it was revealed that our Indigenous family members represented many identities including that of the Two-Spirit.
Traditionally, Two-Spirits were also said to be experts in the arts and the healing arts as well. These individuals were considered to be the result of supernatural selection and thereby meant that many Two-Spirits were elevated to the role of Shaman within their tribe. Though the term Two-Spirit itself is a modern one, the idea beyond it is ancient and complex and represented differently from tribe to tribe and era to era. Many of the traditional Two-Spirit practices and Two-Spirited persons themselves were tragically eradicated with the arrival of European settlers.
As the world slowly becomes more accepting of different beliefs and values, the Two-Spirit nature is being reborn and accepted into the larger fabric of society.
While these traditions outwardly appear totally different to the 3 large monotheistic religions, that might not be the case. Indeed the Christian religion itself expresses some aspects of the polytheistic viewpoint within the Holy Trinity and the Virgin Mary. The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mother herself. She is both revered like a Goddess yet her earthliness, her ability to conceive and give birth as others, the very creative/destructive act of giving birth which makes her Mother Mary has been robbed of her, whisking the concept of womanhood away to a carefully guarded cloud covered pantheon of legends wherein the act of creation is ascribed to a paternal entity, God. The framework within this religion does not provide an adequate framework for the power of women in creation. It leaves no room for the possibility of a fluid gendered being.
And what of those who do not believe in any type of God at all? The non believers otherwise known as Atheists? Often hated and tortured the world over, these believers have made a God of Science itself, accepting nothing that comes from outside of this belief set. In that sense, science itself is very much like a religion with its own dogma and ritualistic practices, practiced in the hallowed halls of research facilities. The beaker, the Bunsen burner, the laboratory….tools and spaces used in the scientific discovery process not unlike the tools of divination in a place of sacred observance such as a temple, church, or mosque.
It’s been said that we are all, each and every one of us, atheists of someone else’s religion and that strikes me as very revealing. No matter how fervently one espouses any particular religion, there are thousands to millions to billions of people in the world who espouse their God(s) and religions just as closely. No matter how hard one may espouse or deny the presence or existence of a God or Gods, there will always be someone to challenge that belief.
At the end of the day, how do we know who is “right”? How do we know who is “wrong”? Is there a set of calipers large enough to grasp the fabric of divinity and measure it in quantifiable, scientific terms? Can something designed or imagined by humans ever come close to comprehending something so ephemeral that it has been argued about since the beginning of the human experience? Can the lens of human experience see through to the soul of God, the Universe, and the Great Mystery beyond? Or as with an electron, does the nature and experience of Divinity change by the eye who views it?
Our Gods evolve in time with our religions. Though we hold them to be immutable history says otherwise. Does that mean that the nature of the divine changes to match the times or is it just our understanding of divinity that changes?
I do not know the answers to these all important questions and will never claim to. However, I do believe that we can find divinity within nature, within each other, and within ourselves. I believe that through being present and compassionate in each and every moment we can find a place of peace and acceptance for us all someday, if only we so choose.
In the meantime, I have been very inspired by Lady Charles’ delicate yet fierce pop ballad celebrating the intersection of the Human and the Divine, of the light and the dark, of the masculine and the feminine. I am moved by the concept that we are all Gods and Goddesses of our own realities. We do in fact co-create this reality together daily, for better or for worse, right before our very eyes. Perhaps next time we ask why of any one God, we should first ask Why of ourselves.
Why must we allow people around us to suffer when we could easily help? Why is life so difficult for some and not for others? Do we have a hope in Heaven for peace on Earth before the great light bulb in the sky burns out? Only time will tell and we won’t be there to see the final act. Therefore we must choose our words carefully for indeed the world exists in the mind first and in our physical reality secondly.
If architecture is the form which holds us physically, music is the architecture of emotion that holds us spiritually and Lady Charles is a true Architect of the Ages through their bravery, intelligence, creativity, and purity of heart.
Lady Charles says it best with their lilting refrain of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, a famous quote that has been said before by both Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12. It’s a phrase that reminds us of a simple yet powerful maxim. Whatever our beliefs, however they differ or converge, I feel that this basic sentiment is a message we can all support. It may be easier said than done, but it’s something worth striving for.
We should strive to treat each other with kindness, compassion, and grace and to remember that each and every one of us is a truly unique and special one time occurrence in the massive ebb and flow of Time and Space. Perhaps one day we will discover other civilizations beyond a shadow of a doubt. Even then, the fact that life on this planet exists at all on a spinning piece of rock that has spent the greater portion of its existence in either hell fire or covered in ice, within this small sliver of time in which humanity exists is a very special moment, full of possibility and yet we are in a mere blink of a blink of a blink of an eye. Our time on Earth is so precious and rare that as Ferris Bueller once said, “If you Blink, you just might miss it”.
Lady Charles is here to remind us of the beauty of the ephemeral, of the “Godx” within each and every one of us, the light, the dark and the unending shades of gray in between in this Blink we call Life. They challenge us to embrace the moment and to not forget that we can see the divine in each and every one of us, in nature and in the worlds we build, for better or for worse, here on this lost speck of dust in an otherwise cold and inhospitable Universe. Most importantly, like a modern day Shaman, with the words “Get down, the Godx has a plan…the Godx is with you, when you hear this song, so worship by dancing and singing along”, Lady Charles invites us to take control of our destiny and welcomes us into the great dance of Life, a healing and ecstatic experience to be cherished.
In whose eye we dance if anyone’s we may never be able to prove scientifically or otherwise, but we shall carry on into the Great Beyond and you can bet Lady Charles will be there to keep the music playing and the hips swaying.
“Manic Pixie Dream Boy” (Released 2020)
Lady Charles is no one hit wonder and released “Godx” into an incredible catalogue of fun and thought provoking indie pop songs. With their Single “Manic Pixie Dream Boy” Lady Charles brings us a delightfully catchy, emotionally raw super hit that shows no fear in the face of hate or judgement.
From the darkly witty line “Canadian with depression, I call that red, white and blue” to the playful assertiveness of “So baby wear your Zoot suit and I’ll wear your velvet dress,” Lady Charles demonstrates both razor sharp writing skills just as well as their beautiful voice lifts the listener up to a sublime cotton candy and glitter filled world of their magical creation.
Though each line in this song is powerful enough to stand on its own, together they form a truly magical sonic tapestry.
“To all those sideways glances, quit harshing me ’cause I’m a Pixie Dream Boy trying to live authentically.”
It’s a simple yet powerful statement set upon the glowing embers of societal discontent. Lady Charles walks upon these fiery coals without fear of being burned, thereby leading the way for others to embrace their own individuality and authenticity and I am all about it.
“Noella (I can’t get enough of you)” (Released 2021)
In their song “Noella (I can’t get enough of you)”, we have a love song for the ages, with clean electric guitar riffs and no nonsense lyrics, it’s another home run for this artist.
I could go on and on about this artist but I invite you to dive into their world and explore it for yourself. Bring your dancing shoes and get ready to party like David Bowie because this is the first artist I have seen since Bowie that approaches their art with the same level of passion, intelligence, and pure glam rock magic.
What challenges have you faced as an Artist?
“One of my biggest barriers has been my mental health. I grew up with ADHD and GAD and was only recently diagnosed. At its worst, during the pandemic, I could barely get out of bed from the physical pain caused by the anxiety. The ADHD created a vicious cycle where I’d hyper-focus on music then burn myself out completely. Luckily I am receiving treatment for both now and it has been helping a lot. Even simply recognizing that these are serious conditions and not laziness or apathy has really been a help.”
“Despite recent progress, there really are barriers to being non-binary in the music world too. One is that people in North America tend to associate social norms with ‘authenticity’ and deviations as ‘inauthentic’– dressing up, makeup etc. tend to be seen as ‘gimmicks’ even though it’s quite authentic to the vision I want to put out there. Ironically, it’s people in patriarchal countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Russia who stream my music the most. I think it’s because North America has very rigidly preconceived ideas of gender, even alternative genders whereas somewhere like Brazil audiences can appreciate the music and imagery without the academic posturing.”
What are your future goals with your music?
“I’ve always been pretty shameless to be honest – I’d like to take this as far as I can. I am way too attention-hungry to not aim for fame. On an artistic level, I’d like to blend theatre and music more and make some records that tell a story.”
What projects are you working on now?
“I have a full-length called Manic Pixie Dream World that has been mixed by Erin Tonkon (David Bowie’s Blackstar) and will be mastered in October by Sarah Register (US Girls, David Bowie, The Shins). It’s mostly all stuff I recorded in my work room during the pandemic but also features members of Tokyo Police Club, Lavola, Raphael Sadiq’s band, my old band Valois, and other talented musicians. It is my attempt at making a 70’s art rock epic – a big wall of sound that you can get lost in. There are, however, some very electronic tracks like Godx and Noella, too.”
“I am also working on a theatre piece called Life After Art along with my friend Natasha Habib, who recently wrote and starred in a really bonkers comedy called Stevie Nicks is my Girlfriend at Ottawa Fringe. It’s going to be a musical about a future hyper-capitalist hellhole where art has been entirely replaced by advertising, and a group of unemployed youth who find an old Nickelback record, have their minds blown, and decide to try to bring back original music. It’s going to involve original music, fake jingles, a cute rat or two, and hopefully a lot of humor despite the kind of heavy subject matter.”
A Message from Lady Charles
“The number one thing right now (and I think this goes for a lot of smaller artists) is to spread the word! It’s very hard in this age of streaming and social media algorithms to stand out and there’s little more powerful and accessible than word of mouth and music recommendations. Of course, buying the music on Bandcamp also helps a lot for small artists – streaming services don’t really pass on those subscription fees to the artists.”
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