Spellling came onto our radar with this one in 2021 and hasn’t left since. Despite releasing ‘The Mystery School’ project last year, ‘The Turning Wheel’ remains a highlight of recent years with its layered mysticism and absolute escapism.
Spellling is rooted in the fantastic as everything presented here is simultaneously cosmic, and fantastical yet grounded in a deeper sense of displacement, loss and melancholy. The two sides of the record reflect this struggle. Side one is an optimistic longing for a greater world which sounds like a Disney soundtrack laced with Voodoo and strings. But side two turns to the reality behind struggling for the dream as the protagonist deals with the harshness of actualising these visions.
Without spoiling anything, just see 'The Future' and the title track on side A for that unbridled optimism and immaculate orchestration. And on side B, just hear the transition from light to dark on the progressive 'Boys at School' and 'Queen of Wands' for the melding of all the influences into one grand piece to enter the last leg of the journey.
It’s always a brilliant feeling when an artist comes up like Spellling who has such a rich catalogue before your discovery. We highly recommend looking back to her first two records before TTW if you’re a fan (‘Mazy Fly’ & ‘Pantheon of Me’). Last year's Mystery School’ project revises a collection of these songs, but they’re still great picks regardless.
It was a revelation and an absolute joy to uncover this gem in 2021, and it remains a wholly realised vision of fantasy. Highly recommended for all.
‘The Turning Wheel’ is available in the store now.