SPELLLING, the project of Bay Area-based artist Chrystia Cabral, presents a second single, from ‘The Turning Wheel’, the new album out June 25th on Sacred Bones.
‘The Turning Wheel’ is split into two halves — “Above” and “Below.” Lush string quartet shimmer combines with haunting banjo and wandering bassoon leads, as the album progresses from the more jubilant, warm, and dreamy mood of the “Above” tracks to the more chilling tone of the “Below” tracks. This progression is anchored by SPELLLING’s vocal style that emphasizes the theatrical and folkloric heart of her songwriting.
Following recent Frida Kahlo-inspired single “Little Deer“ which opens the “above” section of the record, today SPELLLING shares a glimpse at the “below” with “Boys At School“ – an evocative and magnetic 7-minute ballad that sees Cabral “step back into my younger self, my teenage self to voice my angst, desires and disillusionments.” She continues: “I knew when I created the main motif on the piano that it was striking something really raw and both delicate and fierce. The notes just immediately transported me to the era of my youth, of this time when you are really beginning to confront the mirror of yourself to the outside world.”
‘The Turning Wheel’ is the follow-up to 2019’s ‘Mazy Fly’, and revolves around themes of human unity, the future, divine love and the enigmatic ups and downs of being a part of this carnival called life. SPELLLING took on the ambitious task of orchestrating and self-producing an album that features an ensemble of 31 collaborating musicians. The resulting album incorporates a vast range of rich acoustic sounds that casts her work into vibrant new dimensions.
‘The Turning Wheel’ had an original release date of September 2020, but the forced pause ended up serving as a blessing in disguise. Navigating the chaos of recording and producing the remaining instrumentalists – either remotely or through rigid socially distanced studio sessions – was immensely difficult, however the delays ultimately opened up the opportunity for SPELLLING to dedicate more attention to her lyrics. ‘The Turning Wheel’ demonstrates a distinct evolution of lyrical style, from the more incantatory and abbreviated approach of her previous work to a more expansive, narrative production.
A manifestation of this considerable effort, time, and collaborative energy, ‘The Turning Wheel’ will surely become a classic for its elegance. And while the artist’s eclectic influences, from soul to psych to pop to noise, remain present, something entirely new has also been born in the cosmic soup of this massive undertaking: a grand and genre-less adventure. One that allows the artist’s authenticity to shine and also marks her as a conduit for something with a magic of its own.
‘The Turning Wheel’ will be released on June 25thvia Sacred Bones. Pre-order links can be found here.