Oxford-based The People Versus takes the label “folk group” quite literally, as folklore and fairy tales figure heavily in both the lyrics and themes of their musical catalogue. This penchant continues with their newest release, “The Witch”, an upbeat yet deeply reflective piece partially inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche.
And how fitting that is, for like Eros himself this song is the offspring of Aphrodite and Aries: passionate and intense, yet also tinged with retrospection, even a hint of sadness. In an interview, lead singer Alice Edwards described writing “The Witch” through “the lens of my own experience exploring non-binary identity”. This quest for identity—for love, for happiness, for inner peace—is evidenced by the song’s lyrics. The heartfelt refrain “I was in love, I was in love, I was in love” first seems like a child’s plaintive cry—insistent, inexperienced, and vulnerable. Yet by the song’s climax, these same lines hit a different chord: the narrator now wields them as a symbol of their confidence, their growth. The refrain becomes an affirmation—a celebration of one’s self. The song’s strengths go beyond its lyrics. The cello brings a deliberate poignancy that balances the otherwise fast-paced composition. It creates—to this author, at least—the image of a ballet being performed beneath the stars, or perhaps underwater (or the Underworld, if the myth is to be fully appreciated). Finally, there is the singing of Edwards herself, whose voice dances upon the lyrics with bewitching skill: haunting but not hostile; dreamy but not soporific. Her vocals make the song personal, intimate—indeed, make the whole song intimate, and worthy of listening to again and again.
@Thepeopleversusig - instagram
@thepeoplevers - Twitter
thepeopleversusmusic.com - website
Written by Alex Figueiredo