SPELLLING & the Mystery School (Sacred Bones)

Contact Sam McAllister & Patrick Tilley about SPELLLING

Today, SPELLLING (aka Chrystia Cabral) presents her new single/video, “Hard To Please (Reprise),” from her forthcoming album, SPELLLING & the Mystery School, out August 25th on Sacred Bones. Following double lead single “Cherry”/“Under The Sun” — which “prove[s] she hasn’t lost her haunted appeal” (Uproxx) — “Hard To Please (Reprise)” continues unveiling the self-produced reimagination of SPELLLING & the Mystery School to thrilling effect. On “Hard To Please (Reprise),” Cabral’s captivating vocals take center stage, elevated by a lush bed of ethereal instrumentation and supporting background vocals. “I love to love, but my baby loves to fly,” she repeats as percussion builds, exploding into a gorgeous string section that carries the track to an otherworldly finish.


Alongside “Hard To Please (Reprise),” Cabral is thrilled to unveil the lineup for Through the Looking Glass Festival — a special event curated by SPELLLING, Atlas Obscura, and Sacred Bones — on September 16th at Children’s Fairyland, a historical children’s amusement park in Oakland that Cabral’s own mother used to frequent as a child. Alongside SPELLLING, performers include Sun Ra Arkestra, SASAMI, Molly Lewis, Zachary James Watkins, Laraaji, Nailah Hunter, AroMa, and Tarot by Botánica Cimarrón. Tickets are on-sale now.


SPELLLING & the Mystery School is a collection of richly envisioned new versions of songs from throughout Cabral’s critically-acclaimed discography. 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.


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), bass (Giulio Xavier Cetto), shredding electric guitar (Wyatt Overson), and drama-intensifying background vocals (Toya Willock and Dharma Moon-Hunter). These brilliant studio recordings are equal parts punky and fastidious, as Cabral wanted to emphasize rich and earthy natural sounds emitting from each player and their instrument. The textural quality of these tracks, mixed with the futuristic underpinnings of her lyrics and the darkly whimsical nature of her songs, create a completely new immersive listening experience.