Wicca Phase Springs Eternal/Darcy Baylis — This Moment I Miss (7/31/20)

This is my second release with this Pennsylvania emo rapper, after discovering him last year with his album Suffer On. Adam McIlwee is the artist that has been behind this project since at least 2013 when he left his former indie rock band Tigers Jaw.

This EP is a collaboration with producer/artist Darcy Baylis. Darcy puts his own little audio watermark into the mix for the intros of “Pull It Forward” and “Hardcore.” It’s a friendly female-voice saying, “That’s cool, I’m Darcy,” and the way it fits into the songs works perfectly within the flow.

“Pull It Forward” follows a downtempo beat and captures the vibe I love from this type of music. Adam has such deep vocals that feel weighted with hopelessness and they completely suit the longing lyrics.

“Hardcore” was the first song they worked on together. The fuzzy guitar tone feels close to breaching into a hard rock song, but the trap drum beat fits the standard rap formula. The gritty textures definitely add a lingering aggressive presence to the track, but it’s balanced by a catchy lyrical flow from Adam.

At nearly 5 minutes, “Obsessed” is the fullest song on here, and I’d say it’s the best offering off this EP. It creates a more driven alt-rock feel with live drums and a grooving bass line, and the soft melody within Adam’s personal lyrics is strong enough for me to consider the song as a contender for my top 100 of the year. Also, the hilarious mic-check part in the bridge at 2:50 must have been intentional. It just works too well as a transition between the two parts of the song and it really does act as a cherry on top of this wonderful track.

Adam and Darcy introduced me to a genre term I was not aware of in their track breakdown of “I Want To Go Out Tonight.” That term is Witch House, coined in 2009 to describe occult-based house music. Darcy says he wanted to capture the feeling of that era of “internet music, where everything was washed out and distorted, sampled then re-sampled.” I’m not really picking up on much of those nuances and I find this one to be pretty standard with little more than a half-catchy melody to hold my attention.

Closer “Pain Killer” is a bit of a slow and flat crawl to finish for me…buuut looking into the lyrics in the hazy chorus written and sung by Darcy…..it makes it land a littler harder. He says, “But the white horse will take me away/From the pain I can’t kill today.” With a quick search online, my thoughts were confirmed that riding the “white horse” is a common reference to using heroin. So ya, that’s a pretty scary thought, and I hope Darcy is taking care of himself.

Ultimately, This Moment I Miss provides a great look at what these two artists can do together and I would love to hear them teamed up again in the future. Emo rap is still a growing interest of mine and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal continues to encourage me to explore the genre further.

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