Ten minute tea with Afternoon Tea. Spend ten minutes with Afternoon Tea. In the time it takes to boil one kettle, and let one cup of tea steep, we will have your daily art + music fix covered. Take your afternoon tea break with our Afternoon Tea curators.
Today’s tea + soundtrack + visuals curated by Martha Zed.
Pop music with a gangster grunge heart and lyrics that explore themes of despair, paranoia and the absurdity of life, Martha Zed‘s musical output can best described as the ramblings of a reckless mind, consumed with curiosity for the world around her and a relentless desire to express her indefinable inner life in song.
Debut single, “Cat Song,” came to Zed while she was playing guitar and looking at her own feline friend. There’s a certain vulnerability that comes along with a relationship with an animal, and maybe that’s why we love them as much as we do – not because of the unconditionality of their love (a sentiment spoken about dogs in particular) – but because we can’t help but just be ourselves with our pets. That shameless co-existence is pretty liberating.
The tea I chose is ‘Red Rose’, because I’m basic like that. I’m sure there’s a billion things about tea I don’t know about, but Red Rose has always been a staple in my life and is the only tea I drink… with a splash of milk. When I like something, I stick to it and don’t like too much variance. Black tea, black jeans, white t-shirts. Keeps things simple.
The song I chose is ‘Plastic on my Pillow’ by Ryan Bourne. He’s a dear friend of mine, and also played bass on my debut EP (of which Cat Song is the first single). I chose this track not because of any of that, however. It’s just one of my all-time favourite songs and one that I listen to whenever life is getting to be too much… it has this way of being sad and happy/hopeful all at once. The last few months have been hard because a number of friends have passed away suddenly and tragically — separate from one another but all so young that it’s been difficult to make sense of.
“All I can smell is the burning of tomorrow, all I can hear is the war on every street, all I can see are the eyes of perfect sorrow, letting it bleed in suspended belief”
This lyric stands out in particular… it just sums things up quite well. The fears of tomorrow and what terrible news that will bring, along with the incessant noise inside my head. The eyes of my friend’s parents who’ve outlived their children and the never-ending disbelief that comes with the death of someone close to you. For whatever reason though when I hear the song, things feel alright. Life goes on.
The art I chose was David Hockney’s ‘Dog Days’, because of the irony of how I came to have it. My best friend/roommate Anna found the book in one of those free libraries that are strewn about the city on the same day ‘Cat Song’ was released, which also happened to be International Dog Day. Anna is an illustrator, and will be doing the animation for some of my upcoming releases. David Hockney is one of her favourite artists. I just love the idea of mulling over dog portraits while sipping tea and listening to ‘Plastic on my Pillow’… all because of my latest single which is so singularly about my cat. Life is weird and dark and full of pain, but then there are dogs and cats and paintings of dogs and a song about a cat. So really how bad can things be?