Magic and science typically aren’t very well aligned, and you rarely have believers in both. Still, these two worlds are on a full-on collision course on Charming Disaster’s new record Super Natural History. Priding themselves as an open-minded entity, the duo see science and magic as merely two sides of the same coin.
They are alternate ways of viewing the world and do not simply exist in contradiction of each other. Some mysteries live in our world, and people take different outlooks. Through ten songs, the duo of Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris explore topics such as witchcraft, monsters, the underworld, bats, plans, poisons, and parasites, all within their distinctive goth-folk sound.
Describing the album’s thematic basis, the duo tells us:
“Super Natural History incorporates all of the obsessions we’ve been exploring in our music over the past ten years—underworld mythology, magical practice, scientific curiosity, a fascination with mortality, and the different kinds of trouble two characters can get into.”
Super Natural History is the follow-up to last year’s Our Lady of Radium and the duo’s fifth album. Formed in 2012, they were greatly inspired by the gothic humour of writer Edward Gorey and filmmaker Tim Burton. They wanted to combine this influence with the darker side of American folk music, namely the murder ballads popular in the mid to late 20th century, along with a dash of dramatic theatre. Their songwriting is very storyteller-focused, exploring characters and dark narratives.
Interestingly enough, Charming Disaster is also releasing something called an oracle deck along with the release of Super Natural History. Similar to a Tarot deck, this oracle deck features cards with original illustrations inspired by all 60 songs the duo has released to date. It’s meant as a visual interpretation of their music, which is an exciting and welcome add-on, considering their already dynamic and visually expressive music.
Super Natural History Track Listing:
2. Mold And The Metals
5. Bat Song
6. Disembodied Head
7. Six Seeds
8. Paris Green
9. Manta Rays.
10. Wrong Way Home