Three Favorite Lyricists

I began listening to Wicca Phase Springs Eternal's Full Moon Mystery Garden after I took two road trips through Death Valley, the first literal (in California) and the second figurative (in a hospital). So when I heard him say, “On a mountain under full moon / I say goodnight and mean it” and then, “Another night I'm in the magic mirror / Another night engaged in seeing signs,” it felt like, well, a sign. Symbols, like mirrors, are roads to the other side; I have always been obsessed with looking for and in both. Though both of my trips happened, their allegorical affinity made them each less real and harder to return from. Seeing yourself through reflections can be a way of playing dead, of getting lost where you are not; in Full Moon Mystery Garden, it is also a way to get found. The album's sigillic scenery is almost too familiar: cat, black Polo, moon, mountain, mirror. But Wicca has an uncanny ability to show us what are gothic stock images under a strange new light, reanimating them. If similarly symbolically hyperactive Bladee's falsetto incantations out of normal nouns, Wicca's hoarseness brings the otherworld to earth: rural Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island. That's magic, I guess—or music. Wicca's older work is equally lyrically brilliant but more claustrophobic: words are exchanged in bedrooms, in clubs, over text, and in bad relationships. Now, he's […]

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