Combining the creative forces of avant garde pop starlet Natasha Khan, production stylings of Dan Carey and boundary pushing psych rock musicians Toy would always prove fruitful and this collective have created something of utter bewilderment. Sexwitch was conceptually conceived earlier in the year when these artists began to scour the globe for the very finest alternative, rock and psychedelica from decades past. The search took them as far a field as Iran, Thailand and 60s California. After determining both theme and sonar appearance the trio crafted six cover versions all recorded within a single take and the outcome is one of instinctual sensation.
From the opening tones of ‘Ha Howa Ha Howa’ (He Addicted Me) the mood is set in its structure and intent as the insatiable groove drives this song forthright whilst Khan allows herself to become distracted, at times dismissive of conventional narrative as she coos, howls, wails and chants as though in spectral trance. Sexwitch is an indisputably representative name for this collaboration as Khan acts as leader of the surrogate coven during ‘Kassidat El Hakka’. Incorporating middle-Eastern and Indian production and instrumentals, you envisage Natasha dimly lit within a velvet clad San Franciscan basement pacing around charms, fire and other various charms summoning deities and the divine through this hypnotic and impassioned performance.
‘Helelyos’ has brooding and unkempt percussion similar to the early works of Jefferson Airplane and Fever Tree whilst Khan once again demonstrates pure vocal power. This track is primarily about feminine empowerment as she ominously chants ‘my dark girls’ and likens marriage to voluntary suicide. The intensity and exhilaration of their performance launch at Green Man Festival translates thoroughly through these seven tracks and presents Khan in particular as a ferocious, feral and above all feminine force within this project. She empathises with the narrators of these tracks, their surroundings and written intention whilst balancing the dark, disorientating spirituality with the hedonic sensuality.
This collaboration is incredibly committed to itself and exists within its own personal landscape and atmosphere almost creating a sub-genre all of its own. The members of this coven gladly accept new recruits and draw you in with their celestial, groovy psych sound. This album crosses time, space, culture and religion within a well kept 40 minute running time. The future of the project may be as unclear as its origins although what these three artists have achieved in a musical market that demands commerciality and accessibility is exertion of complete creative control and a bravery that was more prevalent in the era they successfully assimilate.