Spellling, aka California’s Chrystia Cabral, has announced her new album: it’s called The Turning Wheel and arrives on June 25 through Sacred Bones. The follow-up to her 2019 debut Mazy Fly, it finds her collaborating with more than 30 musicians. A majority of those can be heard on lead single “Little Deer”, which is set to be the opener and most expansive song on The Turning Wheel, with Spellling saying:
“‘Little Deer’ is definitely a thesis track. I feel that way because it not only showcases the greatest range of instrumentation that is featured on the album, but also because it accomplishes this strong impression of theater that I was striving for with the album as a whole. I’m especially proud of the lyrics. The challenge with the lyric writing was being able to speak to really large concepts like karma, reincarnation and the cycle of life without making the song sound burdened. I wanted the lyrics to match the grandeur of the instrumentation but still be easy to sing along to. I figured out a way to build the lyrics using a lot of abstract language that is still singable but odd in a way that I hope makes it memorable.”
Reportedly taking inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s painting “Wounded Deer”, Spellling’s “Little Deer” could also be a message unto herself not to fear death, but to accept it as part of the great cycle of existence – The Turning Wheel. As usual, Spellling casts some kind of mystical charm in the way she floats through her production, singing of metaphysical and theoretical ideas with a passionate glee, as if they’re everyday things to admire, like rainbows or birdsong. She’s helped in this alchemy by the 17-strong band, who provide strings, horns, chimes and much more, which creates a swirling aura around the singer. As we listen, the grandiosity of the music helps us to rise to her level of perception, able to see the beauty in mortality, and feel excited about it.