PG County, MD

MHYSA #1 by Naima Green

Self-described “Queer Black Diva” MHYSA—a solo artist who’s also part of SCRAAATCH, a Philadelphia-based duo that’s made its name through cross-discipline performance art—relishes the radical possibilities of musical deconstruction. After emerging in 2016 with the EP Hivemind, a pastiche of genre-defying soundscapes with minimalist beats and a hazy sheen, MHYSA returned in 2017 with a full-length, fantasii.

On their Bandcamp page, they compare the album to “an epic poem, like a reverse Dante’s Inferno, where I take the listener higher, upward through my hopes, dreams, inspirations, and desires.” Accordingly, fantasii is raw and vulnerable, with stream-of-conscious thoughts layered over sonic cloudbursts, like watercolor sketches of R&B and electronic songs. The swerving “Strobe” and “Spectrum” offer dissected dance grooves; “Siren Song” pairs MHYSA’s dream-like vocals with tornadic sound roars; and “Tonight” is a brief a cappella song stitching together lyrics from Beyoncé and Donna Summer.