Silk Cinema is the moniker of Kristy X and Ralph A, and Spells is their debut album. It spawned at the end of last year, in which the London duo experienced two very different 2018s. One got married whilst the other almost died from sudden illness, casting the two individuals at complete opposites. Fortunately they reunited to produce a record that combines both sets of emotions wonderfully.
Their sound has been described as Sade in space, and this is illustrated perfectly on “Disappear”. Synthesisers cut through the airwaves and bounce off the rigid tempo of the drums to fill the room with this mystical, danceable groove that’s hard to ignore. Kristy X’s vocals meander between the layers and dissipate into the atmosphere, helping deliver the hooks needed to turn this track into a proper earworm. This knack for opening worms continues on other album highlights “I Know What Love Is” and “Say You’ll Love Me”, with the former’s guitar lick sinking into the hips and the latter’s chorus knocking you for six.
Whilst the sound doesn’t stray too far from its home, Spells does dazzle the mind throughout. Steeped in its love of RnB, the record is always stocked with hooks, melodies and harmonies primed to stick into the mind. “Painted Lady” is five minutes of pure RnB goodness, as Silk Cinema gives it all the necessary time needed to grow into a superb tune. The way the cymbal shimmers beyond the melting synthesisers is glorious, and how the instruments bleed into one another with ease tops it off as one of the top tracks on the album.
Silk Cinema’s debut is an entertaining listen from start to finish, and one that transports you into its world of star-covered disco halls forever. Spells is a spellbinding listen and one that shits all over anything David Blaine has done in his career.