Johanna Warren, Gemini II (Spirit House)
[WITCH FOLK] Sinking into a Johanna Warren album is like stumbling across an ancient pagan ritual in an enchanted forest. Gemini II—the fraternal twin to her 2016 album, Gemini I—serves as a séance for a not-so-dearly departed romance. The dual albums, both released through Warren's label, Spirit House, are musical embodiments of the opposing Devil and Lovers tarot cards. Together, they conjure supernatural introspection into a tumultuous relationship with, of course, a Gemini man. The opening track of Gemini II, "Hopelessness Has Done Nothing for Me," soundtracked by acoustic guitar and tinkling piano, embraces the darkness of past pain as a way of moving into the light. "Say You Do" and "Here to Tell" echo with quiet aggression, as Warren spews sweetly venomous lyrics. The album's final track, "Was It Heaven," is a sad yet transformative ending to Warren's romantic plight. Wistfully repeating the words "with you I was infinitely lost," she sings of a man in an "angel's mask" who proved to be a devil all along. Gemini II radiates lush harmonies, melancholic guitar and transcendental lyrics that slowly escalate to a kind of musical cleansing. By the end, it is clear that Warren has found freedom from a toxic bond, and that the music has helped get her there. LAUREN KERSHNER.
SEE IT: Johanna Warren plays the Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., with Maitland, on Saturday, Feb. 17. 7 pm. $10. All ages.