Photo courtesy of: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, the enigmatic project of former Tigers Jaw member and GothBoiClique co-founder, Adam McIlwee, has teamed with Pigeons & Planes to premiere “Don’t Get Me Started” another new track from the upcoming Raw and Declawed EP. Due out July 14th via Disposition Collective, Raw and Declawed is a stark departure for Wicca Phase, one that finds McIlwee adopting much sparser instrumentation to carry his distinctive voice and lyrics. Pigeons & Planes noted that the track “distils Wicca Phase’s sound to its most basic, and most striking”
Listen to “Don’t Get Me Started” via Pigeons & Planes:
Listen to “Don’t Get Me Started”
Preorders for Raw and Declawed are available now.
Until now, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal has mostly been defined by its unlikely blend of trap beats and cadences with the earnest melancholy of punk and emo. This genre-defying combination has become the calling card of Wicca Phase and GothBoiClique: the musical collective co-founded by McIlwee that includes like-minded artists like the polarizing Lil Peep. Raw and Declawed takes a very different approach, one that recalls McIlwee’s past work in Tigers Jaw but is still firmly rooted in Wicca Phase‘s boundary-ignoring techniques. The EP emphasizes the influence of cleverly morose storytellers, like Nick Cave and Morrissey, stripping away the electronics and trap beats and living acoustic guitar and McIlwee’s unmistakable almost-croon. While Raw and Declawed may seem like a massive departure from Wicca Phase‘s successful sound, these three tracks continue to represent the unrestrained spirit of the project.
Digital advances of Raw and Declawed are available for review purposes and the artist is available for interview upon request.
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In 2013 Adam McIlwee walked away from Tigers Jaw, the band he’d founded and spearheaded, just before the release of Charmer, the critically acclaimed album he’d helped create. Leaving a beloved band with an upward trajectory may seem like a bad career move, but for McIlwee it was the start of an adventurous new chapter: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. Everything about Wicca Phase Springs Eternal is enigmatic: from the cryptic moniker, to the laundry list of collaborators and connections, to the diverse range of sounds and styles found throughout an extensive discography. Trying to unlock Wicca Phase can at first seem intimidating, but boil the project down to its essence, however, and you’re left with a few key constants: McIlwee, his gift for words and melody, and the unpredictable.
While Mcllwee had already been releasing a small amount of music under the Wicca Phase Springs Eternal moniker prior to his departure from Tigers Jaw, it wasn’t until the project became his main focus that listeners began to truly take notice. Through a prolific stream of releases and collaborations McIlwee began honing Wicca Phase’s unique mix of trap, dark electronics, and emo, a blend that initially caught many listeners off guard. Drawing on starkly disparate influences like the bombastic beats of trap music, the darkly witty storytelling of Nick Cave, and the heart-on-sleeve earnestness of emo, McIlwee began to train his listeners to expect the unexpected. Utilizing anything and everything from lush guitars, to recognizable samples, to thumping kick beats, Wicca Phase’s style defies a single genre tag, and is never easy to pin down but always compelling. No matter what amalgam of contrasting sounds and styles Wicca Phase is using, the constants that bring everything together are McIlwee’s distinctive voice and lyrics. His deep, almost crooning voice propels a flow that is at once assured and vulnerable, delivering darkly emotional snapshots of longing that feel highly specific to McIlwee’s experiences, but offer enough wit and ubiquity for listeners to easily latch onto.
The try-anything approach began to pay off as momentum for Wicca Phase grew, and McIlwee soon found a like-minded audience and potential collaborators. This led to the creation of GothBoiClique, a ten person collective founded by McIlwee and his musical kindred spirit, Cold Hart, intended to bring some of the best artists pioneering this new style under one banner. This collaborative spirit, as well as each members’ individual successes (like that of Lil Peep, the group’s most recent addition), has led to GBC’s raised profile as leaders in a burgeoning new musical style and the fervent community surrounding it.
Now, just as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal has begun to establish some semblance of a recognizable MO, McIlwee has once again thrown a curveball, this time in the form of a three song EP, titled Raw and Declawed, from Scranton, PA’s Disposition Collective. The tracks on Raw and Declawed are once again built around McIlwee’s distinguishing vocals and melodies, but musically bear more resemblance to his work in Tigers Jaw than anything in Wicca Phase’s dense discography. Opening track “Icebreaker” was written years ago during McIlwee’s tenure with his old band but has been given a brooding makeover with acoustic strumming bathed in dissonance. The EP’s songs follow this stripped down template, with feedback and atonal textures bleeding in and out of McIlwee’s lilting cadences. Raw and Declawed marks yet another sonic pivot for Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, but that’s exactly how Mcllwee want’s it. This step in his musical evolution finds him bringing the sounds of his past into his present and opening up the possibilities for what Wicca Phase can be in the future. For Wicca Phase Springs Eternal there are no rules or boundaries, only whatever drives McIlwee’s unique creativity, no matter how unpredictable.