SPELLLING, the project of Bay Area-based artist Chrystia Cabral has shared the title track from her dazzling forthcoming album, ‘The Turning Wheel’, which is set for release on June 25th via 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 the Frida Kahlo-inspired single “Little Deer“ which opens the “above” section of the record and the evocative and magnetic 7-minute ballad “Boys At School“ from the “below”, today SPELLLING reveals the album’s deceptively jubilant title track along with an accompanying video, “Turning Wheel“.
“Turning Wheel is a bittersweet anthem about the desire for the pure and simple moments in time to last forever. I fantasize about a realm of peace, gentleness and ecstasy, like a pristine wilderness that evades the conditions, demands and decay of the human world and its pursuits” Cabral explains. “I’m the type of personality and artist that yearns for deep reclusion and repose, and oftentimes I struggle to make choices. I frequently feel immobilized by the structures and regiments of being a modern world citizen. I sing about these personal tensions through ‘The Turning Wheel’ and also speak to the larger theme of the album: the cosmic wheel of life. The song, like the album as a whole, ponders: when does reality stop circling around itself? When if ever will we reach a divine, angelic state that transcends the turning wheel?”
‘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.
‘The Turning Wheel’ tracklist:
01. Little Deer
03. Turning Wheel
04. The Future
06. Emperor with an Egg
07. Boys at School
09. Queen of Wands
10. Magic Act
12. Sweet Talk