Published Jan 18, 2016As if her melodious voice, emotive lyrics and songwriting weren't beguiling enough, Casey Mecija has released her solo debut Psychic Materials with GIF artwork elements, too. Every song pulses with visual life to the beat of memories, mystery and love, and the poetry that so many Ohbijou fans have missed is woven throughout.
Psychic Materials is an atmospheric saga that envelops the senses with guitar, synths, percussion and violin. Although the essence of previous group work comes through (the album features frequent musical contributors Jeff DeButte, Heather Kirby, Anissa Hart, and Mecija's sister Jenny) on tracks like "Palms Lose" and "Condo City," this electro-pop delivery is much more personal — no doubt the product of Mecija writing the entire album alone. The opening verse on "Busted Heel" features a phone-recorded demo of piano and alternate lyrics that lend the song intimacy, and the excellent "Gonna Gun" finds its final form here after being released three years ago by Warm Myth, the project of Mecija and DIANA's Kieran Adams. It's on "Sounds That Mark Our Words," though, that the album reaches its peak, starting with a sample of Mecija's mother reflecting on her experiences of the Philippines, social class and labour as they are landing in Manila.
"To land in the Philippines beside my mother was an important moment for me as second-generation Filipino. This was one of my first visits to the country my parents call home and to a geography I've come to imagine as being integral to how I understand myself," Mecija has said of the experience.
As Psychic Materials suggests, patience is the hard-won key to knowing one's own mind, a place Mecija explores and allows us intimate access to on her wonderful new album. (Independent)