Hard to Please is the debut Sacred Bones 7" release by Bay Area artist Chystia Cabral, aka Spelling. She released her first full length Pantheon of Me in September 2017, and it was self-written, performed, and produced in her apartment in Berkeley, California. She began experimenting with music production in 2015 in effort to carry on the creative legacy of a lost loved one. Drawing heavily from messages in her dreams, her sound spirals through clarity and obscurity searching through landscapes of psychic space. The result is a divine soul music, soft in its restraint but heavy with passion. Spelling’s powerful vocal range dances over compositions that vary from rhythmic and ethereal to crunchy and hypnotic, while all remaining singularly cohesive to her distinct and enveloping sound. Her newest tracks Hard to Please and My Other Voice (a cover of Sparks’ 1979 symphonic disco track) pair together to reflect on bittersweet passions of an obsessive romance. Hard to Please swells through the excitement and pain of yearning to please an unsatisfiable lover, with “eyes of winter” but a promising “heart of spring.”
The track presents as dance music but journeys through a swirling climax to something more spiritual. My Other Voice channels a more sinister state of romantic high, commanding obedience from this aloof lover, “you’re so independent but that’s going to change real soon, with my other voice I can destroy this room.” The sinister tone is juxtaposed with the elated music, that grooves celestially along, entrancing the listener and destroying the proverbial room with the power of Spelling’s voice, which elevates this cover beyond an homage and to a unique vision entirely its own.