The End: Charlie Hilton on Endings and Death | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The End: Charlie Hilton on Endings and Death

"[My personal hell would be] waiting for eternity in a long line at a crowded airport with the most boring, dismal people around me."

Apr 01, 2016 Web Exclusive
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To end out the week, we ask Charlie Hilton some questions about endings and death. Hilton is the front-woman for Blouse, but in January she released her debut solo album, Palana, via Captured Tracks. Palana is a gorgeous collection of string-swept indie-pop anchored by Hilton’s Nico-esque vocals and a haunting synth-backed retro-futuristic vibe not far removed from Broadcast. It includes “100 Million,” her duet with label-mate Mac DeMarco, and Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder even plays cello on the album. Read on Hilton lays out how she’d like to die, what song she’d like played at her funeral, her favorite endings to movies and TV shows, and her personal versions of heaven and hell.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

I used to think I’d want to die in my sleep, but now I think I’d like to be more aware when it happens, as long as I’m not in pain. I’d really want to know that it was about to happen. Ideally, I’ll be very old, like in my 90s, and maybe I’ll find out that I’m sick, in which case I’ll be able to have a nice death ceremony because I live in Oregon and they let us do that here. Preferably, I’d be somewhere outdoors (a garden?) with at least one person whom I love and trust.

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

Chopin’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.” I wouldn’t mind hearing the symphonic performance, although a solo piano would be just fine. I can’t think of anything that would make me feel more relaxed, and I know I wouldn’t want to hear lyrics. I’d like to have room to hear my own thoughts, or no language at all.

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

“Heaven” by Talking Heads. I think it would be really sweet if a youth choir sang it, but a really good one with a dozen teens. I’ve always loved this song so much, and find it really funny. It makes no sense. I don’t know why it’s not one of their more popular songs because it’s my favorite.

What’s your favorite last song on an album?

“The Dream’s Dream” by Television, off Adventure. It’s my favorite song on that record, and a perfect ending. They lyrics are so cryptic, I don’t even want to know what they mean. It’s beautiful, and so long.

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

David Fincher’s The Game. It’s really satisfying. I’m a sucker for epic endings. I also really like the fashion show in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. The outfits are so ridiculous.

What’s your favorite series finale of a TV show?

Breaking Bad was kind of incredible, even without seeing the first couple of seasons. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I know there was redemption of some kind.

What’s your concept of the afterlife?

I don’t believe in the afterlife enough to have a concept in mind, although I know I could be wrong. I think it’s a mistake to expect anything in particular though, even if you think you’ll still be some version of you in a realm where something is happening. It’s impossible to imagine. It’s completely unimaginable. That said, I’m not afraid of whatever it is. I don’t believe in any kind of hell.

What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?

Getting to live my life over and over, each time doing things a little differently. Perhaps with the addition of a time travel tool? Kind of like in that movie About Time.

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?

Waiting for eternity in a long line at a crowded airport with the most boring, dismal people around me. There would probably be lots of cigars being smoked and bad music and no escape.

If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?

A man. I think it would be interesting to get to experience life from the other side. It’s hard to imagine wanting to be another man in particular, someone who already exists I mean. I think it might be nice to be the man version of myself.


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March 19th 2019