Calista Kazuko releases her debut album, Empress, an epic anthology of female power. 'Benzo Belle' is the mind-bending official video. Roll up, roll up - the circus has come to town and invited you into their weird and wonderful world! Calista plays ringmistress to tell the story of our heroine, 'Benzo Belle' and the circus her life has become. Depreciated in a loveless marriage, a monotonous carousel existence, delusional and exhausted, self-medicating to numb the pain. Will she escape this Stepford Wife life prison and live out her fantasies to run away with the circus?...
The heartbreaking ‘Benzo Belle’ is being placed album frontrunner for its sophisticated, emotional songwriting and cinematic, evocative production. The record cherishes an eerie, tongue-in-cheek tenderness similar to The Dresden Doll’s cult classic ‘Coin Operated Boy’ and is quickly becoming a fan favourite.
The stunning music video made by filmmaking duo Thomas Linton and Philip Reinking transports the viewer to another-worldly fantastical bazaar. This unstoppable collaboration has become a tour de force, with ‘Benzo Belle’ being the latest offering from the Empress visual collection. Praised for their visionary videos, this film is the biggest, boldest yet.
For the past few months Calista has been sharing a series of themed releases from the album, noting: “Along with celebrating fierce, fabulous women, the Empress album addresses hardships women are continuing to fight globally. Although we’ve come a long way, the struggle for equality continues.”
Accompanying releases are awareness-raising campaigns, working with leading partner charities to address themes including LGBTQ+ rights, period shame, prescription-drug dependency and domestic abuse. The album is dedicated to Calista’s greatest influence and inspiration, her Father - the late, great violinist Paul Robertson and is coming out to celebrate his birthday.
1: The Empress
2: Come To Mama - Youtube
3: Lady Cherry - Youtube
4: Benzo Belle -
5: Ode to Genevieve - Youtube
6: Dear Sabotage
7: S.S. Lizzie
8: Sick Like Me
10: We Are Empress