Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

S&S Presents

Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

Horse Head, Mirsy

Wed, April 3, 2019

7:00 pm

Kilby Court

Salt Lake City, UT

$15 ADV / $17 DOS

Wicca Phase Springs Eternal
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal is the creative persona of Scranton, PA singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Adam McIlwee. Stark transmissions of obsession, melancholia, and raw emotion compliment acoustic guitar and digital percussion as if Peter Murphy and Metro Boomin had been playing Ouija together. Beneath the deep 808’s, moody synthesizers and cackling guitar, McIlwee’s singular voice effectively resonates with a generation raised amidst the frenzied collage of modern digital expression.
Wicca Phase first materialized in 2010. After receiving the name suggestion in an email from a friend on tumblr, McIlwee began writing and recording under the moniker. “Once I heard the name, it felt perfect,” he explains. Evoking mystical, occult resonances, the name serves as a passageway to explore the parallels between the material world and that of mystery. “My music is very representative of what I’m doing in the moment,” he continues. “The influence of the name seeps in and lets everyone know they’re getting into something deeper.”
McIlwee’s innate songwriting gift can be traced back to his time in Tigers Jaw, the widely influential band he fronted before walking away in 2013 to fully embark onto new creative pathways. “I was super active on tumblr at the time and came across all of this early internet rap. It was inspiring.” He sought more fervently the
immediacy of writing, recording and releasing songs instantly, releasing music from his bedroom with no consideration for the industries standard protocol.

As he continued to evolve in his new artistic endeavors he ultimately linked up with likeminded creatives by way of Twitter DMs. Together he and his newfound collaborators built a network of creators across the country and in 2015, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal co-founded Gothboiclique (GBC). Comprised of ten artists including Cold Hart, Horse Head, Lil Tracy, and eventually the late Lil Peep, the internet collective began creating a palpable buzz and accordingly influencing a growing wave of artists and musicians.
“GBC is really rooted in the spirit of loner culture and heartbreak culture,” he elaborates. “There’s this dark element that’s always been a part of American gothic music, the aesthetic, and the subculture,” McIlwee explains.
With GBC’s growing notoriety, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal simultaneously established himself as a singular voice, adeptly combining his natural songwriting instincts with the digital culture enveloping his world. Through an extensive catalog of collaborations, singles, EPs and 2016’s Secret Boy LP, McIlwee has become a celebrated pioneer in this vital new direction of underground music. Along the way, he assembled what would become his 2019 Run For Cover Records debut, Suffer On, with the sonic bedrock evolving yet again as he re-embraces an initial vision.
Suffer On is an exploration of familiar forms through the lens of something new and extraordinary. It is the first Wicca Phase record fully written by McIlwee, utilizing guitars and keyboards to create each song’s core and building upwards from there.
“It’s so much easier to write more impactful songs when you’re doing it from scratch,” Adam explains. “You create the journey for listeners as opposed to getting a map from a producer and trying to fit what you’re saying onto it. It’s all coming from me.”
On the first single “Just One Thing,” fearless percussion reconditions his vulnerable and vital delivery. He croons, “To think that I’m alone is like my worst fear, I want you right here.”
Themes of longing, entrapment and sacrifice permeate the album - the notion of wanting more and not getting it. Production and lyrics are both intentionally sparse and bleak, reinforcing such feelings and allowing room for the weighty moods to fill the sonic void.
Lush acoustic guitar underscores the heavy emotionality of “Crushed” as he dissects a “natural anxiety about everything.” Then, there’s “Put Me In Graves.” Ethereal synths shimmer above double-time drums as his cadence wavers between frenetic and danceable.
Suffer On’s title track encapsulates the delicate sorrow at the record’s heart over a haunting timbre.
“It’s about making a deal with the devil,” he says. “It’s saying I can pursue this artistic thing as a career, but the consequence is I’m going to put myself out there in an emotional state for everybody to consume.” But it was never really a choice which path to follow - like all great songwriters, McIlwee is driven by the innate urge to express himself through song. And in the end, Suffer On emanates its own magic stemming from its creator.
Horse Head
Horse Head
With his musical project Horse Head, Chris Thorne has pioneered the fusing of emo, pop-punk, and indie elements with hip-hop. Initially gaining distinction as a producer, Horse Head quickly became well known for his distinctive vocal delivery. His poignant lyrics resonate with listeners as he sings about personal experiences with loneliness, depression, and heartbreak.

As a child growing up in Orange County, California, Horse Head would draw fantasy CD covers and write imaginary song lyrics. It was this early infatuation with music that pushed Horse Head to teach himself the guitar, vocals, and production in FL Studio. As a teenager, he also became the frontman of various bands, most notably forming the shoegaze/indie pop trio Tan Dollar in 2010.

In 2013, Horse Head began to deviate from performing in groups, producing various hip-hop beat tapes instead. A year later, Horse Head met fellow producer Nedarb in Los Angeles. One night, Horse Head came across an instrumental of Nedarb’s which contained an emo guitar sample by Silverstein. Instantly hooked by this unique approach to hip-hop production, Horse Head sang over the beat, releasing it as the track “Numb” in 2014.

At this same time Horse Head joined the underground musical collective Thraxxhouse, connecting with artists Cold Hart, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, and Lil Tracy. Realizing they all shared a particular interest in blending emo, pop-punk, and indie with rap, the frequent collaborators quickly formed their own niche collective: GothBoiClique. As a member of the renowned group, Horse Head released a triad of projects in 2016, including True Blue, Celebrity Crush, and Lock & Key. After Lil Peep joined GothBoiClique that same year, Horse Head produced numerous tracks for the late artists’ breakthrough mixtapes Crybaby and Hellboy, and also featured as a vocalist on their notable singles “Girls” and “Stop the Car.”

In 2017, Horse Head issued his independently released album This Mess Is My Mess, which solely produced by Fish Narc. After having a relatively quiet 2018, Horse Head announced his debut studio album We Had Our Fun. Slated for release in the summer of 2019, the project features live instrumentation by Yawns as Horse Head returns to his alternative indie roots. — Jack Angell
Venue Information:
Kilby Court
741 Kilby Court
Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
http://kilbycourt.com/kilbycourt/calendar/listing.html