SPELLLING - SPELLLING & The Mystery School (Purple LP)
SPELLLING, the moniker of the Bay Area experimental pop mastermind Chrystia Cabral, returns with SPELLLING & the Mystery School, a collection of richly envisioned new versions of songs from throughout her critically-acclaimed discography, out August 25 via Sacred Bones. Recorded with her touring band (est. 2021), these reimagined studio tracks follow Cabral's spellbinding career — from her 2017 breakthrough debut Pantheon Of Me, to 2018's multidimensional synth-based project Mazy Fly, and her expansive third album, 2021's The Turning Wheel, breathing new life into the extravagant orchestrations she's written and produced entirely herself. "With this album, I wanted to capture the ways that these songs have morphed," Cabral says of SPELLLING & the Mystery School. "They're like my children all grown up in a different stage of their lives, and I wanted to celebrate that." Throughout SPELLLING & the Mystery School, Cabral's hypnotizing voice is enveloped in a newly fleshed-out sonic universe of dreamy strings (Del Sol Quartet and Divya Farias), haunting piano (Jaren Feeley), driving trip-hop percussion (Patrick Shelley) and bass (Giulio Xavier Cetto), shredding electric guitar (Wyatt Overson), and drama-intensifying background vocals (Toya Willock and Dharma Moon-Hunter). Overall, the album encapsulates the transportative SPELLLING live experience through which Cabral, with her idiosyncratic stage presence, conjures up a spiritual sense of communion and vulnerability among her audience. "I want people to feel like there's alchemy happening and to be aware of the magical parts of sound," she explains. "Like, this really did come out of thin air." Cabral plans to bring her otherworldly live set through a special performance with Atlas Obscura this summer, held at Children’s Fairyland, a historical children's amusement park in Oakland that her own mother used to frequent as a child. There, she will unravel her mythical songs that interrogate ideas of self-concept and political history, aided by the backdrop that will no doubt bring out her music's other dimensions of playfulness, innocence, curiosity, and joy.