- The 1st full-length album from Psyche Corp
- Featuring guest vocals from Paul Shapera
- 48 minutes and 27 seconds
- As to genre, your guess is as good as mine
- Released on 09/06/2022
Decades after interdimensional fairy creatures spilled into the human world, two students attend the world famous Phoenix Medical School. But will Diana and Luc become enemies, lovers, or something in between . . ?
So, it turns out I might be a sucker for musicals after all. At least, a certain sort of musical. This sort. Refugees from the Otherworld stretches the mission statement of this blog a little. Yes, I’m a trader exclusively in science fiction. But science fiction is a genre that has awfully fuzzy edges. So when a musical about fairies casually drops in the idea of other dimensions existing between quarks, that’s enough for it to earn a science fiction stamp of approval in my book. Beyond that, Psyche Corporation’s debut musical is every genre under the sun. On a worldbuilding level, it’s got dark academia, fantasy, horror, and a dash of steampunk. Thematically, it’s a properly tragic romance with more than a hint of the gothic. On a musical level, it’s runs the gamut from rap to industrial and from sombre solos to heated duets. It’s a real kitchen sink of ideas, and somehow it manages to come out cohesive on the other end.
Psyche Corporation first came to my attention through the musical offerings of Paul Shapera. Psyche herself is easily my favourite vocalist of the Shaperaverse, stealing every scene she’s in. It was a done deal that I’d get to her solo work sooner or later. All of that vocal strength is on display in Refugees from the Otherworld, from the breathy hip hop of ‘Roadx’ to the belted passion of ‘Outsider.’ It is at this point I confess some ignorance. Psyche Corporation is presented as a collective of dream engineers from the future (just go with it), warning us about terrible things to come. In reality, I believe Psyche to be a solo project. I may be wrong about this, but whatever the case, the musical mixing and scripting are an impressive feat for a small operation.
Past collaborator Paul Shapera is back in the role of Luc, a self-important, power-driven individual who might just be the chameleonic Shapera’s best performance to date. ‘Mr Perfect’ and the follow-up ‘Monster’ are both powerhouse performances. But no matter how good the solo performances are, the stars of the album are the duets. ‘Sleep With The Enemy’ is as funny as it is enlightening, and ‘Your Body’ is surprisingly touching, given what happens on either side of it. Yet the standout duet is ‘Your Side of the Body,’ a tale of medical rivalry that takes place during a dissection. It’s great as a song, but also because of the staging that comes with it. Even though this is only the soundtrack to a musical, it’s easy to imagine how it might play out on a stage. And if it ever does come to a stage near me, I’ll be buying tickets as soon as they become available.
Given the puzzle of genres and the musical background of the performers, Refugees from the Otherworld is a surprisingly streamlined creation. It works on its own terms as a simple tragedy, but also serves as an introduction to a world that doesn’t yet exist. Hopefully this world will soon be realised, because it’s one I am already invested in. Whether you’re a fan of the weird and bizarre, or just want to hear some great music, you should definitely give Psyche Corporation a listen.
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