Harley Small and Wallgrin Invite Us Into Their Shared Cauldron of Dreams With “Magic Circle”

Harley Small and Wallgrin, photo courtesy the artists

Harley Small and Wallgrin named their collaborative song “Magic Circle” after John William Waterhouse’s 1886 painting “The Magic Circle” depicting a woman using a wand to draw a ritual space in order to conduct a feat of ceremonial magic—a ward against the trespasses of the world while working on something special, sacred and personal. The song is carried by a breathy, drifty melody buoyed along by Kai Basanta’s intricate drumming as Small and Wallgrin welcome the listener to that magic circle where reality warps as the tones and vocals are processed to stretch out into gently reality altering proportions interweaving with synth tones similarly manipulated to give a sense of an expanded personal universe within the protected environment of that magic circle where one’s imagination and creativity can incubate and develop before coming forth fully formed so that the hermetic development can become an experience shared to a world outside the intimate company of those who key into the song’s unusual yet compelling structure and free flow of sounds and ideas. Like a cauldron of dreams issuing forth an alchemical blend of shared aesthetics, realities and aspirations. Musically it might be comparable to an experimental indie pop song in the classic 90s vein when Elephant 6 bands would use noises, samples, field recordings and tape manipulation as part of the process of writing uniquely affecting, even at times haunting, pop songs. But the production exists in a post-Animal Collective and post-Super Furry Animals realm of idiosyncratic psychedelia. Listen to “Magic Circle” on Soundcloud and follow the artists at the links below.