Crywolf’s “Cephalotus” is the lovely sound of awaiting doom

The L.A.-based producer/vocalist/instrumentalist’s last release of 2018 enticingly leans into darkness.

December 07, 2018

Crywolf is Justin Taylor Phillips, a Los Angeles-based producer, instrumentalist, and vocalist who's found his niche in crafting amorphous, genre-defying sound universes. His latest track out today, "Cephalotus," is a doom-bringing lullaby — if that's a thing. Wispy synths and his gauzy vocals drift in and out while heavy beats ground the whole thing, and Phillips whispers things like, "I'm going to chew you 'til my teeth are numb."


Googling "cephalotus" brings up images of carnivorous plants with large, pitcher-like flowers that are convenient for trapping wayward insects. It's hard, listening, not to wonder if Phillips is doing alright, and even harder not to admit that the sound of darkness could be so beautiful.

"'Cephalotus' is a song about my entire life, in a certain sense," Phillips writes of the song via email. "A descent into darkness, into chaos; into sweet, beautiful doom. It represents my complex and often deadly relationship with the shadow place in my unconscious mind - that dark, wet womb of the void from which all birth and death bloom."

Thumbnail by Dustin Hollywood.

Crywolf’s “Cephalotus” is the lovely sound of awaiting doom