|Album Review: SPELLLING—Mazy Fly|
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SPELLLING (Tia Cabral) released her second full-length album Mazy Fly today and it’s casting quite the love spell on us. The California-based artist has created a new musical hybrid as half experimental enchantress, half soulful indie-star. She was originally inspired to start making music in 2015 and began gaining attention by playing unusual alternative venues, such as chapels and mortuaries.
Mazy Fly has similar undertones to its 2017 predecessor, her self-released debut album Pantheon of me, both have heavy celestial vibes and dark undertones. Cabral always sings with a lot of passion and purpose; behind every wail and moan there is a strong woman scorned, and a woman building herself up for something... cue, Mazy Fly. Let’s call this her Mecca album.
“Red” opens the album with what resonances orchestral funhouse music. A noticed pattern throughout Mazy Fly, Cabral’s moans and hums flawlessly connect her mended lyrics together and fill the songs with a cohesive eeriness. “Haunted Water” will definitely be known as the showstopper track coming in hot with synth sounds reminiscent of Blade Runner. She sings about the forced journeys and suffering slaves endured as they crossed over the Atlantic during the slave trade era. You can feel the pitiless power put behind the song as the strong bass snaps hard. “Hard To Please” is another track full of the same spacey-synth, echoing siren-like screeches that illustrate a severe longing to satisfy someone. Later in the album there is a “Hard To Please (reprise)” that ties back nicely to the track, but also brings pop-like trills showing off Cabral’s vocal abilities. “Golden Numbers” changes tune to something that sounds like a witchy doo-wop from another decade and it’s followed by “Melted Wings”, a string-instrument-led song that transitions us from the dreamy, bluesy melody back into a darker focused headspace.
Up until this point each song has been succinct and defined in its own style. There’s no doubt Cabral has the sure ability of jumping between genres and seamlessly incorporating a variety of instruments and sounds, but the next couple of tracks lose momentum. For a dance beat so crisp in “Under The Sun”, the keys melody teeters off, like someone missing a step on a set of stairs or a child playing around on his family piano. The album becomes less of the continuum it was in the first half. “Afterlife” reels us back as a soothing saxophone fades in and out of the track. We hear another side of her voice; deep, soulful belting in the background under a classic drum beat. “Dirty Desert Dreams” is more light-hearted and brings life back into the album with a goofy, big bellowed intro that layers wild synths over one another. The album ends with “Falling Asleep”, and like recorded ocean sounds or white noise you could honestly probably fall asleep to it.
Overall, Cabral's latest as SPELLLING gives us a well-balanced story of heartache and vengeful emotions battling positive feels and happy romances. Cabral definitely grew immensely since her debut. She paints a much wider variety of color and sound in Mazy Fly for fans that have followed her from the beginning. The album will surely take you on a wild ride by boat, spaceship, broom and magic carpet. Never a boring moment in SPELLLING’s world.