Death Valley Girls Break Down Each Track on “Under the Spell of Joy”

The psych-rock witches also share a new video for “I’d Rather Be Dreaming.”
Track by Track
Death Valley Girls Break Down Each Track on “Under the Spell of Joy”

The psych-rock witches also share a new video for “I’d Rather Be Dreaming.”

Words: Danielle Chelosky

photo by David Fearn

October 02, 2020

Death Valley Girls frontwitch Bonnie Bloomgarden wore a shirt for five years that read: “Under the Spell of Joy.” “I read it as being about manifesting your biggest dreams and responding thoughtfully and mindfully to everything that comes in your path with joy and compassion first,” she explains about her appreciation of the phrase, which is now the title of the band’s new album.

Under the Spell of Joy is not only about manifesting happiness, but also unity, connection, and gratitude. Through an eccentric combination of music and spirituality, the psych rockers are like tarot readers, guiding the listener and helping them navigate their own lives. There’s singing and chanting, there’s a saxophone and an organ, and there’s influence from Black Sabbath and The Velvet Underground. Under the Spell of Joy is, much like hypnosis, a full-body experience.

With the record out today, Bloomgarden broke down each track for us, which you can read below the full-album stream. Additionally, the band is unveiling a seductive new video for “I’d Rather Be Dreaming,” created by Louisianna Purchase of Dragula and Chique Fil-Atio, which you can also check out beneath the stream. 

1. “Hypnogagia”

You can have what you want, but only if you know what you want! We’ve been practicing manifesting for a while, but only recently discovered the concept of visualization. Visualization allows you to feel/imagine as though you just achieved that which you’re trying to manifest! To actually feel the joy of success surround you is a remarkably strong way to manifest what you desire.  

This song is meant to be a tool to bring you to that state of joy. First, press play. While listening to the song, start to imagine what you desire and most want to bring into your life. Imagine how it feels—how do you feel? Do you feel different? Who will you tell this news to first? What will they say when they hear the good news? What will you say differently to yourself before you go to bed, or right when you wake up in the morning? Does it feel better than you imagined this achievement to feel? When it gets to the breakdown, feel free to say or chant your phrase of success! Mine is, “Holy shit, no way, that’s so cool,” what’s yours? 

2. “Hold My Hand”

This song could be called “Hold Your Own Hand”—it’s about being in charge and the leader of your life! Relationships are really tricky and can be super messy and complicated. I used to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I realized it’s cause I thought relationships were an agreement you made with another person, and that meant giving away my power to the other person and letting them navigate our way along our path. Then I realized things either happen to you or for you. Any relationship you have is an opportunity to make an agreement with yourself! It’s a chance to learn to be more compassionate and to grow stronger and more powerfully into the person you want to be, and are meant to be. Hopefully, the other person will help along the way and grow with you. If not, peace and next, please. 

3. “Under the Spell of Joy”

Joy, a wonderful band from San Diego, introduced us to the concept that would change our lives forever. The concept was joy. Once we considered the true meaning of “joy,” achieving it and spreading it became our life’s objective. Conceptually we felt that if you vibrate at the energetic level of joy, you allow others to meet you there energetically. In other words, if you vibrate at a low vibration such as frustration or anger, it’s much harder for others to feel joyful. We knew that high energetic field was our mission to perpetuate. Sing this song any time you wish to feel joyful! 

4. “Bliss Out”

“A simple but important reminder: Be here right now ’cuz we’re all gonna die!”

5. “Hey Dena”

This song had been trying to come through/connect with me for over a year. When I would go on the dog walk, take a shower, do anything, it was always popping into my head! I thought it was about Athena, and was really confused because I had never really thought too much about Athena before. Then I realized I was hearing it wrong—it’s not about Athena, it’s about my sister, Dena! That made me so happy, I couldn’t wait to get to sing to her every night.

6. “The Universe”

When I was a teenager and first feeling what turned out to depression and bipolar disorder, I would listen over and over again to my favorite songs to feel connected, grounded, and loved. “The Universe” is a song to sing, a space to be, a time to think, remember, and truly feel that not only are we all connected, but we are also being guided.

7. “It All Washes Away”

It all washes away, it all washes away. And you’re gonna be OK.

8. “Little Things”

We wrote this song for a friend of ours who is going through a very tough time physically. While we were talking about how not ideal his health and living situation were, he realized how much he loved dreaming. We realized it was perfectly OK to just focus on the parts of life that are working, even if it’s when you dream or daydream. Focus on the little things!

9. “10 Day Miracle Challenge”

We wrote this song for our hero, Mitch Horowitz, and the miracle challenge that changed our life and shifted our perspective. If we could recommend any one practice or challenge it would be the “10 Day Miracle Challenge” by Mitch Horowitz. We also highly recommend his book The Miracle Club. You can change your mind if you want to! 

10. “I’d Rather Be Dreaming”

This song is about finding strength somehow in the vortex of an abusive relationship. Sometimes it’s too hard to think there will ever be a way out. This song can be used like a curse, or as a promise. A curse-like promise to haunt your abuser for all eternity!

11. “Dream Cleaver”

On our quest to consider the mysteries of the universe, and what happens after life, we became very interested in Terrence McKenna—particularly his ideas on trans-dimensional travel. Mr. McKenna proposed that “DMT sent one to a ‘parallel dimension’ and that literally enabled an individual to encounter ‘higher dimensional entities.'” We believe that these entities hold the secrets of the universe and the afterlife. We became obsessed with trying to contact them, so we don’t have to wait till the afterlife to have some answers to these questions!