Emily Reo • Spell 10"
OCT063 | Released October 28th, 2016
Order a 10" vinyl copy here
A magical live performance of “Spell” has been floating around for a while now, and the new recorded form retains all of its evocative power. Reo sings through a vocoder: “I can’t feel anything/ I don’t heal anything,” she repeats in a way that mimics depression’s repetitive thought cycles and powerlessness. That chant becomes all-consuming as her voice becomes more intelligible and a 9-part string section orchestrated by Reo and Owen Pallett takes over, transmuting the feelings of isolation and suffocation beyond language altogether. Reo talked about the track in an interview with Rookie:
I wrote this song during a long period of time when I had been feeling emotionally numb, and literally “couldn’t feel anything.” I was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder a few months later. I’ve been struggling with different forms and degrees of mental illnesses including OCD, anxiety, and depression since I was eight, so the need to try and cope with whatever is going on in my head wasn’t new, but this particular feeling, or lack thereof, was. I was scared I’d never get to experience enjoyment again and was just hoping to feel anything at all, even the bad stuff.
-James Rettig, Stereogum