Damn The Witch Siren Celebrate White Magic
White Magic is the fitting culmination of a journey through the ups and downs, beginnings and endings of that crazy little thing called love that began with 2016’s Black Magic.
Damn The Witch Siren soar with the latest release in their “Magic” album saga, the aptly titled White Magic. Departing radically from the heavy witch rock infused, sexually liberating rave that was 2018’s Red Magic, White Magic is much more atmospheric, lush, and acoustic. While it’s not quite a Sunday morning hangover album, it is the bright, cool, and fresh Sunday morning come down from the sweaty, dimly lit bump and grind that was a racy Saturday night of dabbling in Red Magic. It’s the fitting culmination of a journey through the ups and downs, beginnings and endings of that crazy little thing called love that began with 2016’s Black Magic.
Damn The Witch Siren launched what turned out to be the first chapter in a trilogy of albums about what could be interpreted as the stages of love, both physical and spiritual with Black Magic. On that album, singer Bobbi Kitten sang about how “Your love is frightening, FRIGHTENING!” on the appropriately titled “Your Love Is Frightening.” By the time Red Magic came along though the fear had dissipated. Now she was getting busy “Feelin’ Myself,” declaring “I Don’t Want To Say I’m Sorry” (my all-time favorite Damn The Witch Siren song), reveling in being “Forever Young,” and telling her lover to “F**k Me (Like We’re In Love).” Here, love took a decidedly sensual, confident, and much less frightening hue all due to the heavy-and rocking-electronic thuds and breaks conjured by Bobbi and her partner (in life and music) DJ ZWolf. Red Magic reveled in the fearlessly physical aspect of love, the next logical progression beyond the initial scary stage of taking the initial plunge into the steaming hot springs of new intimacy.
Every night isn’t Saturday night though, and love isn’t a continuously lusty engagement-whether it lasts or not. Enter White Magic. Here the blatant sexual aspects of love are more subdued, and so is the music. Bobbi sings about the metaphoric comedown after the party that is either the blossoming of deeper love or end of the affair. On the album’s opening track “Love Song in D Major” Bobbi celebrates how her “heart skips a beat… every time you look at me like I’m the only one who sees you” over a lightly tripping beat, lush waves of electric guitar bridges, and uplifting atmospherics. It’s a glorious song that rivals “I Don’t Want To Say I’m Sorry” in its ability to elevate the listener. With the very next track though, Bobbi and ZWolf explore the flip side with their major single release from early last year “Gothic Summer.” Here, “All the magic in the air has somehow died,” and the lover Bobbi personifies can only cry and wonder “where did our love go?” Later on, to a more urgently slinky beat on “Ain’t Love Everything,” Bobbi sings “You make me feel like a sex bomb/I know I’m getting older baby/But you make me feel so young.” Love continues to bloom and express its rejuvenating powers even in its advanced stage. Even later on though, during the beautiful piano ballad “Imposter Syndrome” Bobbi sings “I miss the way you used to miss me/I miss the way you used to keep your eyes open to kiss me.” Love fades and leaves one of its possibly decoupling partners in a sorrowful mood that the almost whispering Bobbi embodies with her subdued voice trying to convince herself that “baby we’re fine.”
Every song on the album is a powerfully insightful, moving, and mature examination of the culminating stages of a love that was once frightful, then rapturously sexy, and finally either becomes eternal or is sadly stillborn. The album wraps up with the drum, bass, guitar, and piano ballad “Paradise.” The song feels slightly autobiographical as Bobbi sings about the ups and downs of the recording industry and the stresses that she and ZWolf must experience, but finally, it all seems worth it as at last, she’s “staring down the barrel of paradise” with him. Isn’t that what love is however it turns out though? It’s a paradise-sometimes lost and sometimes regained-but above all love is magic whatever its hue.