Claiming Allegiance

“There’s a quote from a David Lynch film that goes something like ‘Is every person in your dreams really you?’” Gloria says, smiling. “I guess, when it comes to the world that is my art, everyone there really is me.”


Image courtesy of Gloria Endres De Oliveira

Released in January 2018, Allegiance is the debut single for Darkwave project Lovespells. In collaboration with the Hamburg-based producer Spampoets, Gloria Endres de Oliveira invites us to explore an alternative world where memories and wishes can be kept on tapes that retain their magic.


The project is heavily influenced by Gloria’s fascination with Witchcraft and the supernatural. “It’s something that has always been very close to my heart.” she says, “One of my my earliest memories is me being in the garden behind my parents’ house, making potions with leaves and flowers under this huge tree that’s no longer there.” After seeing her in the dunes performing a ritual with her fellow Witches, it isn’t hard to imagine a younger Gloria who didn’t yet call herself a Witch but knew she was one. “I remember watching Sabrina or The Craft and thinking ‘Yes, that’s me!’”

Gloria’s perception of what it means to be a Witch goes beyond herself and is intrinsically joined to the female experience. “This might sound radical,” she says, “but to me being a Witch is the same as being a woman.” She pauses. “Think about it, throughout the ages, women have been persecuted, tortured and killed for being Witches… or for being women?” She lets her question sink in. “The real magic is that we did not only draw strength from this history, but we also created a community from it.”

Image courtesy of Gloria Endres De Oliveira

Gloria’s perception of what it means to be a Witch goes beyond herself and is intrinsically joined to the female experience. “This might sound radical,” she says, “but to me being a Witch is the same as being a woman.” She pauses. “Think about it, throughout the ages, women have been persecuted, tortured and killed for being Witches… or for being women?” She lets her question sink in. “The real magic is that we did not only draw strength from this history, but we also created a community from it.”

The idea of community and women creating bonds with other women is a recurring symbol in Gloria’s art, and we see this resurface in Allegiance too. The scene with the young Witches drawing a pentagram on the sand and standing on each of the five ends holding a candle a la The Craft is a key moment during the video, as it shows the singer reflecting on the bonds she has made in the past. “That’s what I wanted to convey with this coven, these friends who use their power together to create a safe space and that turning into a nice and comforting memory.” Gloria says.


She laughs when asked what it was like filming that sequence, taking her friends to the beach at night in order to “make their teenage Witch dreams come true” as she puts it, half joking and half serious. “It just sort of happened.” she says. “We all started playing with the candles and ended up making up this ritual while Erik [Hamann] kept on filming us. It was pretty magical.”

It’s interesting how sweet and innocent coexist so unproblematically with darkness and mystery when it comes to Gloria. “It’s not impossible to be both girly and threatening.” she says. “They are not opposites, just look at Wednesday Addams.” Nevertheless, Gloria admits that to a certain extent she goes for extremely feminine and cute looks as a statement. “I’ve always been told I look innocent, and it creeps me out because I think from a masculine perspective, innocence is always associated with sexuality and lack of experience.” she says. “Maybe my outfits are my way of telling the world that this idea they seem to have about ‘innocent looking girls’ and what they do or what they’re like is totally wrong.”


Image courtesy of Gloria Endres De Oliveira

In a similar way people seem to have a preconceived idea about innocence, other traits are looked down on as they are attributed to the stereotypically feminine: softness, kindness, spirituality… “Both men and women are criticised for being esoteric or for believing in things others may find irrational, like crystals, cards, magic,” Gloria says “and I think it’s sad how masculinity prohibits men to be more open-minded.” She’s concerned about how cynical people are today, when the world could use more compassion. When confronted with the question of who would she like to listen to her songs, Gloria’s reply is immediate: “Girls like me. Girls who aren’t afraid of showing their vulnerability and speaking out for what they believe in. Yes, I am totally a Witch, I’m totally spiritual and I believe in all that ‘hocus pocus’ that the patriarchy tells you is silly.”


Facets of Gloria reflects back at you in every aspect of her art and hopes other women out there will see it and think: I am not alone. “Realising that you’re not strange, that you are not the only one who thinks things in a certain way… there is nothing more empowering than that.”


Article written for Sabat Magazine