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jo   bth yung





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Jo Beth Young - Broken Spells Cover





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by Giles Sibbald


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My self.




The self. 



The nascent roots of discomfort started many years ago.


I felt I had different personas.


I behaved differently dependent on which persona was in play.


But it made me feel inauthentic.


These roots gradually established themselves as noisy lodgers in my headspace, telling me to do some work to find the "real me".


This would get me back on track with a long help belief - albeit an unconscious and, as it turns out, spurious belief - that I had one self.


Wouldn't it? 



Not really.

I realised that my discomfort was stemming from an unhappiness in what I was doing with my life that caused these personas to exist. 




I now know that I experience my self - my selves - through multiple layers and those layers might sometimes be in conflict. My own truth and clarity.



Sounds a bit Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

Well, yes, especially as we do tend to think of our selves as being unified and continuous.



Familiarity and consistency and routine is comforting.


But surely we are more complex than one label, one definition

... Jo Beth Young started writing her latest record at a time when she was questioning everything in life, including her own being.


Jo Beth continues:

"I was also looking into what was happening inside of me. This meant asking myself deep questions such as whether for all my belief I was a good person?

Had I been corrupted in any way?

Did I need to purify my intentions in life?

Looking at the World, I started asking, does evil really exist? And if it does, does that mean the opposite must also exist and be true?


I started to see that there was something bigger than personal and physical conflict going on and that there was indeed a bigger spiritual war at play. I also realise that spells are everywhere. When we believe anything we’re told or is spoken over our life, that is a spell in itself. I was exploring how I could break these? How we could find truth and clarity? I think that's really the living impetus behind the songs; Seeking truth and breaking strongholds and illusions. " 

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Creativity as a release valve for the pressure cooker of a world that we have made unstable, confusing, narcissistic, merciless yet beautiful. To let go, to fly free, to confront the liminality with fearless intuition.


This gives me a sense of awe.


Broken Spells gives me that sense of awe. 

It's a storybook that transcends a label. The dreamy electronica-folk-Americana-choral-psychedilia soars into the open skies, beckoning us to take flight of our own.




The opener, Wolf Song, is astral in its hypnotism.  Jo Beth 's voice pleads with the pain of acceptance, revealing lyrics that reverberate with tales of the darkest corners of narcissistic abuse.

"I could never be as cold as you are to me"

Standstill is a deliciously haunting confessional of the weight of holding onto dark secrets, ones destined to be seen. The major/minor/minor/major chord progressions are sumptuous - a theme that runs through the entire record.


Burning takes you on a roadtrip through the desolate Americana of William Eggleston, where poetic images of every day, mundane gas stations, motels and liqour stores obscure a sinister reality. 


Adversity is reminiscent of the Rhapsody-period

Siouxsie Sioux and her majestic,  operatic mezzo-soprano. It swirls along its restorative quest with insistency and dexterity. 


Mechanical Ballerina envelops you with beauty, hope and empathy. Perhaps this is the moment when the destructiveness of Kali Yuga starts to give way to liberation, spiritual growth and compassion.

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The storybook of Broken Spells guides us through Jo Beth's very personal journey of often dark experiences, deep reflection and tussles between good and evil.


It takes us through the looking glass where Babylon's cesspit of illusions, lies and power structures have been laid bare.



Giving way to a new clarity.



A new spirituality.



A new life.

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