Best R&B Conjurer

Spellling

Spellling, the songwriting vehicle of Berkeley artist Chrystia Cabral, appeals to an unlikely cross-section of the regional underground, performing in basements, galleries, and clubs, as well as hip-hop-adjacent happenings such as Wine & Bowties’ FEELS. Her music sounds like little else in the East Bay — an inward spiral of spare, enchantingly fluid compositions for keyboard, drum machine, guitar, and looped, incantatory vocals. Spellling’s self-released debut, Pantheon of Me, topped the Express‘ list of the best albums of 2017, and it’s due to be reissued on vinyl later this year by Ratskin Records. The label fortunate enough to release her follow-up is the subject of much speculation.

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