By Alexander Just
In the hushed corners of the indie music scene, an artist with an ethereal allure is poised to cast a
spell on your senses. Spells and Curses, an artist shrouded in dreamy soundscapes and intimate
narratives, has been quietly crafting a unique sonic identity since its inception in Queens, New
York back in 2012. As he prepares to release singles off his upcoming double-album, a hidden
gem waiting to captivate listeners, I had the privilege to sit down with him and dive into the
depths of his music, influences, and aspirations.

Origins and Influences: A Sonic Alchemy

The sun sets over the Minneapolis horizon. I’m sitting across from Spells and Curses, a.k.a.
theRave, before they hit the stage for one of the shows on their solo acoustic tour this summer. I
prepare to hear them illuminate their journey of mesmerizing audiences with their melodies, so I
take it from the top. “The whole ‘theRave’ thing came because I just didn’t want to see my name
everywhere. It felt weird to see my name, because even though those songs came from me, they
didn’t come from that side of me. So I just named that side ‘theRave’ after a dream where a
friend called me that.” The frontman reminisces about the origins, revealing, “It all came
together because I wanted to tell stories with my guitar. Somewhere along the line I found out I
could sing, and everything more or less came together afterwards. Add some heartbreak, death,
and isolation, and you get a recipe for some pretty intense feelings that need work.”
When discussing the sound, he mentions “I feel like I wear my influences on my sleeve. Perhaps
on some songs more than others. But it’s always been about capturing the emotions and painting
it with sound. That’s probably why my albums have been pretty all over the place genre-wise,
but it always came from that same place.”

Dreamy Soundscapes: Crafting the Atmosphere

The albums released thus far range from dreamy, singer-songwriter ballads, to blasting electronic
thrash metal. I was curious how would even describe the “Spellsy” sound. He delved into it by
explaining, “I’m too close to ever really describe what it sounds like. But the best way I’ve heard
it described was that my softer songs are like wandering through a half-remembered dream, and
my heavier songs are life floating in space. I don’t know what any of that means but I love how it
sounds [laughs].”

Lyricism and Themes: Echoes of the Heart

With the lyrics that delve into themes of love, intimacy, and desire, theRave shares, “I watched
The Flash movie recently and it had a scene with spaghetti that kind of took me out of the film
and into my own head. I started thinking about human emotions as a complex tapestry that I
paint with music, and my lyrics are trying to untangle the threads. Putting it all together can
sometimes be like feeling your way around a hall of mirrors that’s dimly lit.”

Recording Process: Balancing Precision and Emotion

“I’ve definitely taken my time with the new recordings, that’s for sure,” reveals theRave. “I’ve
had nothing but time, especially during COVID. However, I honestly think it’s more so because
I’ve learned to leave room for the spontaneity of emotions. It’s a balance between capturing a
raw feeling and refining it into something polished. The artist in me wants to always just go, and
the producer in me wants to fix it up until it’s exactly as I need it to be.” theRave adds,
“Ultimately, the balancing act comes about in preserving the vulnerability of the moment. I think
I’ve finally gotten a good hold on that”

Album Teasers: Whispering Secrets

The current tour is a string of dates performing songs mostly off the upcoming album. As
anticipation mounts for the new music, Rave teases, “It’s a double album that examines
infatuation, in all its forms. Longing, loving, and everything in between. The concept came from
a belief that true love doesn’t exist. Just different kinds of infatuation. I remember telling that to
people and everyone’s reaction to that has been like ‘whoa… you good?’ [laughs] I don’t know,
is it a bad thing to believe love doesn’t exist?” When asked if this belief is still held, he replies
“I’ve learned quite a bit since finishing the double-album. In a way that I believe I am processing
through new music I’m working on for the next. I clearly have a problem.”

Live Performances: Translating Atmosphere

When asked about live performances, theRave reveals, “I never get it right, but it always sounds
better live. And I never really aim to replicate the album live, but the there’s a lot that gets lost in
translation, but I feel it never hurts the performance. I don’t know if it’s because I play with
amazing musicians or because I usually record alone, but it always sounds better live.”
Regarding the current solo acoustic tour, Rave adds “I had a crisis of confidence since the
pandemic ended, so the solo tours were a way to get my sea legs back, and I’ve had a few people
tell me how even though they like my recordings, the acoustic shows allows them to hear my
voice and ‘the song’ better. So now the goal is marrying the energy of a live band, with the
clarity and focus of the solo shows.”

Connecting with Listeners: A Heartfelt Bond

“I got through it because of my supporters,” says theRave about the pandemic. “I made a Discord
for all of us to check in on each other and keep each other hopeful during that time. This was at
the height of lockdown too. We played games, talked about what’s going on where we lived.
Everyone was in different parts of the world, so we got world news from a ground level, it was
pretty cool. We had listening parties and stuff, it was a lot of fun. Lots of new friendships were
made. I love them all so much and that’s kind of what I’m hoping these news songs will become;
new friends for them to keep feeling seen, heard, and loved.”

Visual Aesthetics: Painting with Music

Reflecting on their visual aesthetics, theRave shares, “I’m excited for people to see the music
videos. Every track on this double album has a music video and a lyric video. I’m releasing
every track one at a time so that they all get their time in the sun. As far as I’m aware, I’ll be the
first and only artist to ever do this with a double album.”

Future Ambitions: Envisioning Tomorrow

With the forthcoming double-album on the horizon, one with a name he refuses to share stating,
“Not yet… the initials are ‘IL’. That’s all I’ll give for now”, Spells and Curses’ ambitions soar.
theRave envisions, “I just want to create music that I love. It’d be great if other people love it
too, but it’s more so about being able to continually create. I have so many demos and song ideas
I want to finish, and my ideal life would be to just record them all. Kind of tough because new
songs are always coming, but I’ve got the next 5 albums all written and recorded in various
stages of completion. If I can at least get those out and done, I’ll be satisfied.”

Exclusive Insights: The Creative Cauldron

Spells and Curses emerges as an enigmatic force, inviting us into a world of emotion-laden
melodies and auras of introspection. With the singles off his upcoming double-album poised to
unveil hidden landscapes of the heart, theRave’s music promises to be a companion for both
solitude and shared connection. Perhaps even serving as a friendly reminder of the echoes that
linger, whispering promises of dreams fulfilled and desires awakened.

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