Review: SEXWITCH is an atmospheric trip for adventurous listeners

3.5 OUT OF 5 NUTS!

sexwitchWell… here’s something a little different.

A collaboration between vocalist Natasha Khan (a.k.a. Bat for Lashes) and psychedelic rock band Toy, SEXWITCH consists of six covers of songs from Iran, Morocco, Thailand, and the United States that were discovered by Khan and producer Dan Carey.

“One day, (Carey) called me up and asked if I wanted to go record shopping,” Khan said in an interview with Pitchfork. “So we did, and picked out loads of old weird psych records from different countries, strange folk mountain songs, and took home seven or 10 of them. We got back and played through all of them and some of them we were like, oh my god, this is so badass — really tough, amazing rhythms. I was struck by all of the female singers, a couple of them almost sounded like M.I.A. — but from in a mountain village in the middle of nowhere.”

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At times, SEXWITCH strays far from the source material, at others it just sounds like the songs have been given a fresh coat of paint. Overall, the result is a bizarre, trippy, yet fascinating piece of work that some may love, some may loathe, and some may think would fit well as background music on Halloween (or while consuming mind-altering substances, or both). It’s not all easy to digest, but at it’s best, SEXWITCH is a compelling listen.

SEXWITCH may lose some listeners during the times when it zones out into the occasional trance surrounded by tribal beats, but the material here is strong when focused and satisfyingly atmospheric. A good example of what you’ll find here is the Iranian song “Helelyos”; it’s a little repetitive and gets a little spaced out, but it has a catchy beat and is carried along by Khan’s intoxicating vocals:

A personal favorite from the album is “Ghoroobaa Ghashangan” with its addicting, smooth head-nodding funk that might have you reaching for the repeat button.

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, SEXWITCH is certainly worth exploring. It’s a nice little musical adventure that will have you feeling vibes from different corners of the world and will deliver an interesting change of pace to your listening rotation.

Release Date: September 25, 2015

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