Photo: Erik Bender

Spellling transports us back to her uneasy adolescence on the dramatic “Boys At School”

Chrystia Cabral will release her new Spellling album, The Turning Wheel, next month, and today she follows up lead single “Little Deer” with a new track called “Boys At School”. As suggested by the title, “Boys At School” takes us back to Cabral’s teenage years, as she explains:

“[In this is song I] step back into my younger self, my teenage self to voice my angst, desires and disillusionments. I knew when I created the main motif on the piano that it was striking something really raw and both delicate and fierce. The notes just immediately transported me to the era of my youth, of this time when you are really beginning to confront the mirror of yourself to the outside world.”

Spellling’s music always has an air of mystical theatricality, but on “Boys At School” that seems to be even more pointed, as the extravagant instrumentation plays the part of all those teenage hormones rampaging around her bloodstream. Cabral sings in her breathy vocal over stately piano, recalling memories of floating through school corridors, making furtive glances at attractive classmates and cursing the titular “Boys At School” who make her life such an unnecessary strain. Revisiting these feelings as an adult seems to have emphasised their sharpness for Cabral, and she amplifies those jagged impulses into a trance-like incantation, guitar and synth spiralling around the track in a breathtaking tornado. “Boys At School” is visceral in the way it dives headlong into adolescent melodrama, and Spellling drags us right back into those classrooms with her committed performance.

Listen to “Boys At School” on streaming platforms or below.

Spellling’s new album The Turning Wheel arrives on June 25 via Sacred Bones (pre-order/save). You can find her on Bandcamp, Facebook and Instagram.