Johanna Warren Shares "Witchsickness"

Out October 4 on Spirit House Records

                                                                                                                  Photo: De Carbon Azul

Just in time for the thinning of the veil, "Witchsickness," the haunting new single from nomadic singer-songwriter Johanna Warren, arrives to keep you company as you curl up with a blanket and a warm mug of immune-boosting tea while mustering the social motivation to throw on some fangs and glitter and make an appearance at your co-worker's Halloween party. No one can say you didn't make an effort.

Introducing her newest composition at a recent show, Warren offered, "This is a song about being afraid of your own power." On the surface, Witchsickness speaks to the hardships of living the solitary and transient life of a touring musician, battling depression, loneliness, insomnia and overwhelm while attempting to be a beacon of hope and inspiration to others. On a more esoteric level, the song documents the unique challenges that are part and parcel of being a practitioner of magic—those terrifying post-initiation moments when you've fully embarked a path of sorcery and realize psychic reality isn't all rainbows and unicorns; when you've opened Pandora's box and are thinking, "Oh f*%#, wait, can I just like, close this box though?" But ultimately it's a song about shedding fear and superstition and stepping into true empowerment and liberation, both metaphysically and interpersonally: "All my supernatural symptoms seem to fade away/ The second I remember I am the God to which I pray./ Maybe I am everything I thought I needed from you/ Maybe it’s time to surrender and release what I thought I knew."

Recorded to tape at The Relic Room in NYC, the double-tracked guitar and vocals have a fuzzy analog warmth reminiscent of the hushed bedroom whispers of Elliott Smith. The song climaxes in eery ululations that build to shrill cackling shrieks as the narrator confesses,  "I wanted to fail!When the tsunami of catharsis breaks, she whispers, almost as an afterthought: "...But I tried." 

Johanna Warren Links: 

Unbind my hands
Can’t remember where I laid my plans
Syphilitic shadows crowd the bar and drown me out
Everybody’s lining up to tell me what I’m all about
It’s a lot of weight to try to bear on your own
It’s a lot of pain to hold when you don’t have a home
I try to scrape the silver linings off of every cloud
But everything I touch just turns to lead and pulls me down
Maybe I was you in another life
I still have the maps of your mind
Maybe it’s time to surrender and release
What I thought was mine
Unmake my vows
This was a mistake, I’m breaking down and I want out
I wasn’t ready for this path, its power or its pain
But I know I will never be what I once was again
It’s a lot of light to try to bear on your own
And there’s a lot of sleepless nights you just stay awake shaking all alone
But all my supernatural symptoms seem to fade away
The second I remember I am the God to which I pray
Maybe I am
Everything I thought I needed from you
Maybe it’s time to surrender and release
What I thought I knew
And I wanted to fail,
But I tried.
There’s a lot of valid reasons I should want you dead
But I will do my very best to worship you instead

You destroy me perfectly, my enemy, my friend

I know exactly how all this will end, I just don’t know when