Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Full Moon Mystery Garden Music Album Reviews

The GothBoiClique affiliate takes a Lynchian journey through trap beats, dusty drum breaks, and shoegaze guitar; his vaguely emotive lyrics suggest horrors lurking in the shadows.

Like his friends and collaborators in GothBoiClique—the emo-rap iconoclasts who counted Lil Peep as a member—Wicca Phase Springs Eternal has never been afraid of the dark. The singer-songwriter born Adam McIlwee fills his songs with shredded self-loathing and grim atmospheres, elements no doubt informed by his past membership in the openhearted emo band Tigers Jaw. But Wicca Phase’s music has always been a little more opaque and otherworldly than his peers’. The feelings are raw, but his songs aren’t didactic—he wants you to lean in close, to get lost in the mystery. 

On Full Moon Mystery Garden, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal deepens the enigmatic air he’s cultivated in the decade or so that he’s been releasing songs under the alias. The images that recur throughout the record—lonely roads, quiet nights, portals to other realms—are emotionally evocative but never too specific; they’re mundane enough to be comforting, but with enough horrors lurking in the shadows to remain unsettling. It’s a Lynchian journey down a lost highway soundtracked by shuddering trap beats, dusty drum breaks, and the dizzy haze of shoegazing guitar lines. On the gauzily poppy “Tonight I’m in Love on My Own,” he sums up record’s allure in a single couplet: “The ambience, the air that I’m after/Is cryptic, it’s mystic, it’s true.”

McIlwee’s misty abstraction has rarely been as moving as on “Dark Region Road,” where he readies himself to descend into an underwater portal, letting love wash over him. Throughout, his writing feels heavily labored and self-consciously poetic, but in a way that suits the grave intonation of his voice. He’s always favored a rough low register flanked by creeping harmonies, and he does here too, in a way that evokes medieval sacred music—when he sings about being chased by shadows or prying open a “forbidden door,” it’s almost as if he’s chanting profane verses, the foreboding consequences of which remain unclear.

This approach, shrouding almost every lyric in darkness, makes for some incisive moments of emotional clarity when McIlwee does allow himself to open up. The simple, direct opening of “I Was on a Back Road by Myself” is a placid meditation on solitude that recalls the unvarnished vulnerability of Phil Elverum’s first records as Mount Eerie. It’s affecting and earnest in a way that much of Full Moon Mystery Garden isn’t, which makes it feel like McIlwee is confiding in you—a small kernel of truth amid the swirling uneasiness of the record as a whole. 

This satisfying use of contrast is echoed in the record’s instrumentals. McIlwee and producer Garden Avenue alternate between the bruised beats that defined past Wicca Phase releases, heavy drum’n’bass refractions, and euphoric pop. In part, that’s no doubt to accommodate the wide variety of guests, who run from similarly downcast GothBoiClique regulars like Fish Narc to kaleidoscopic pop mutators like 8485 and blackwinterwells, but the emotional effect is profound. Tension and release exist in a delicate balance—for every moment of ecstatic abandon, like the dreamy “Hickory Grove,” there’s something a little more curdled and unsettling, like the hazy witch-house memories of “I Am the Edge.” As a result, the record feels inviting in places, terse and cold in others. It’s a compelling document of uncertainty from an artist who’s unafraid to offer a guided tour of the muddled headspace where he lives. 
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Full Moon Mystery Garden Music Album Reviews Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Full Moon Mystery Garden Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 27, 2022 Rating: 5


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