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Anthony Carew

Free Music Monday: Paradise "Psychic Returns"

By October 29, 2012

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"Psychic Returns" is my favorite song of the year. It might be one of my favorite songs ever. Thus far, I've been listening to it from this Nite Jewel mixtape, but, now, with a sparkling black-and-white, sustained-Sade-homage video out in the world, the song is semi-officially released.

"The bridge disappears between us," Nedelle Torrisi begins, singing in her eternally-amazing voice, "trust is mysterious." In this handful of syllables, Torrisi offers one of the most simple and poetic interpretations of a dying relationship ever committed to song. It's, assumedly, about her musical/non-musical partnership with Chris Cohen; with whom she once fronted the awesome Cryptacize, only for each to now go their own separate ways: Cohen recording solo; Torrisi becoming Paradise.

This leads to the song's glorious refrain, which is just as simply-put but no less profound: "I could find a new love/but he'd never love me like you do." It's a lament that, coupled with the opening admission of lost trust, makes for a fascinating, poignant portrait of those conflicted feelings that come at a relationship's end; when you want to both desperately hang onto and let go of it; relief mixed with fear mixed with loss. Or like this: "You're mine/nevermind/now I'm on the other side."

The song is presented stupendously: with chiming pianos, secretly funky bass, real strings set against synth strings, flutters of concert harp, and rippling rivulets of autotune; a wash of sound in service of the central sentiment. If I'm reading the Paradise Tumblr correctly, Torrisi's made a whole LP that's due to sound this good; with Julia Holter and members of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Nite Jewel (plus, maybe, Ana Caravelle playing that harp?) on the record. It's, I pray, due soon; 'til then, let me listen to "Psychic Returns" again. And again. And again. Photo Graham Walzer

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