Celestial Blues

King Woman

Celestial Blues

For their second full-length, doom outfit King Woman unfurls a concept album loosely based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost, a 17th-century epic about Lucifer’s temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. “I was raised Christian, but I’m not Christian anymore,” vocalist Kris Esfandiari tells Apple Music. “There’s a lot of Christian mythology going on in here—stories about some of the major characters from the Bible, like Christ, Adam and Eve, Lilith and Lucifer.” Before she had the album’s concept, Esfandiari had already written the song “Morning Star” about the fallen angel Lucifer. Then a fan gave her an old copy of Paradise Lost at a show. “I’d been working on the record, but that was the missing piece of the puzzle,” she says. “It was like an epiphany. So I just went down that road, and here we are. I hope I did it justice.” Below, she discusses each track on Celestial Blues.
“Celestial Blues” “The poem at the beginning comes from these blackout periods I had when I was younger—I guess they were seizures. I had one in the shower, and I woke up screaming and making these crazy noises. My mom ran into the shower fully clothed and started praying in tongues while water was just pouring on both of us. She was trying to cast the spirit of death out of me. But the song itself is about frustration—gender dysphoria and being stuck on this planet of suffering and pain.”
“Morning Star” “This is partially about Lucifer. To me, they’re kind of an androgynous, Joker type of character who has been scapegoated—and I wanted Lucifer to tell their side of the story. But it’s also about personal experiences where I felt I was a scapegoat in a situation. And that feeling you’ve lost your mind and gone to hell, basically, and come out on the other side a little deranged or crooked and at the same time magnificent. You don’t recognize yourself, but you’ve become this kind of Joker-esque character because of everything you went through.”
“Boghz” “There are a few translations for this word, but in Arabic it means ‘hatred.’ I’m Iranian, so in Farsi you could translate it as like the lump in your throat before you’re about to cry—or the feeling of pushing it down, like, ‘I’m not going to cry.’ For me, it’s more of a feeling, so I like that it has a few meanings. The song is about a relationship that I tried to make work, but the other person just kept beating me down and being so sadistic. I never really gave up, but I definitely had to walk away in order to survive. A lot of this record is about that relationship, in a way.”
“Golgotha “This means ‘the place of the skull,’ and it’s where Christ was crucified. That was almost the album title, actually—I have it tattooed on my arm—but I just felt like Celestial Blues was more appropriate. The song is about karmic cycles. There’s a lyric in there that says, ‘The snake eats its tail, we return again to this hell,’ which is about how we repeat the same things over and over again and have a hard time learning our lessons. It’s also about the death and resurrection of myself, so there’s a lot to unpack there.”
“Coil” “This is a continuation of ‘Golgotha’—it’s about the resurrection. To me, it’s like a hardcore gospel song or something. I’ve dealt with a lot of people in the past few years that really tested my patience and my faith in myself, people who made my life difficult and tried to tell me I couldn’t accomplish my dreams—people who insisted that I give all my magic away to them. All those people have since apologized to me, but the song is my declaration that I’m unstoppable. It’s the song of the warrior.”
“Entwined” “This is a love song about surrendering to emotional availability and commitment. It’s kind of a confession of undying love. It’s about someone from my past. One of their parents passed away from cancer while we were seeing each other, and they kind of disappeared suddenly from my life because of that. So this is my parting gift to them.”
“Psychic Wound” “We did a video for this one that’s kind of a vampire orgy. In the intro, it’s like I have this clear reflection of myself and then I get involved with these vampires. They start to approach me, it’s a vampire orgy, and then I have a psychotic break. At the end, I snap out of it and I’m returned to my original reflection. There’s a few meanings, but it’s basically about how we all have these wounds from our past, and sometimes vampiric people can sniff those wounds and take advantage of your pain. It’s also about having sex with the devil, so, you know—side note.”
“Ruse” “This is a song about getting cheated on and taking your revenge. When you get cheated on, you might want to hurt the person who hurt you and feel like you never really knew who they were. There’s a line that says, ‘I’ll wait up for you tonight, you’ll forfeit our love.’ So it’s just about finding out some information that you’re shocked about, and then taking your revenge.”
“Paradise Lost” “I relate this one back to the Garden of Eden, Lilith, Lucifer, Adam, Eve, God, forbidden fruit, impossible love and betrayal. I feel like this one is about the complexity of relationships and how sometimes they don’t always work out. But it’s also the story that’s been told since the beginning of time—the Garden of Eden.”

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