Calling Nine Spells an album of ambient vocal incantations does it a disservice. She Owl’s Jolanda Moletta has crafted an otherworldly exposition on the nature of transience and timelessness of ancestral spirits. Nine Spells transcends beyond the astral plane to channel ancient energy that sees Moletta’s voice veer between melodic whimsy and spellbinding beauty.
Moletta’s voice is powerful at every turn, even in the whispers, and ethereal. Winding rivers of vocal expression dig into our pores like smoke, entering any small gap it can find to engulf entire worlds. “Spell II: Daydream and Nightbloom” skirts between wistful and hopeful, Moletta using her full range to spin glorious melodies through the inner sanctum of our bodies, releasing the emotional dam. Her music wields incredible force but always presses with a gentle touch.
In passages where Moletta pulls back and lets her sonic world hover and evolve, she infuses her singing with a calming spirit. Repetitive silhouettes glow on the magical “Spell V: Like Honey in a Hidden Cave,” as though she’s breathing new life into the collective consciousness. Pulling power from her ancestors, “Spell VI: Ascend” radiates. Each spectral harmony is another fine thread pulled across time, pulsing like an insatiable heartbeat. It’s stunning.
Nine Spells will stay with me for ages. Moletta’s beautifully composed arrangements manage to be intense and unrelenting while still finding a way to soothe. Celestial voice acrobatics illuminate the darkest stretches of sky, connecting disparate universes that are spread across time. It’s a meditation on lineage and the weight we all carry, whether known or unknown and presses those roots into a potent fire. Jolanda Moletta’s given us a gift with Nine Spells.