The Ice Plant is Christiana Key’s favorite bar in St. Augustine. It reminds her of a place she frequented while she lived in New York City, with high ceilings and a modern atmosphere. She didn’t love New York, but it’s where she started her experimental magic-infused pop music project, Delphic Oracle.
“Ultimately I would like it to be called priestess pop,” she says.
She’s a one-woman band who plays everything through a loop pedal. Her medium is her electric violin, a keyboard synthesiser, a microphone and a four-channel interface mixer.
In the two years since she started the project, Key’s done an East Coast and West Coast tour, but has recently settled into St. Augustine, close to where she grew up, in Jacksonville. Most of her days are spent in a pirate souvenir and costume shop, a touristy place where she works and lives in a tiny room off to the side with only a curtain as her door. She works as a clerk in the shop, and sews some of the costumes sold there.
When I meet Key, she’s dressed in a black plunging-neckline dress, a color she feels most comfortable in. She’s 27, but looks younger on account of her edgy aesthetics and petite body.
We order drinks. The bar’s cocktail menu employs songs titles and pop culture references. She chooses the Mellow Gold, named after a Beck album: Old Forester bourbon, Liquor 43, ginger, lemon, orange, sugar and bitters. It’s a tall glass — and, she says, a big bang for your buck. It’ll get you drunk after just one. I press record on my iPhone, and for the rest of the night I’m engulfed in Key’s strange mind.
She starts by telling me about her music.
“I try to write songs that are really spiritually uplifting, and then I find myself going for a sexually tinged spiritual pursuit,” Key says.
A lot of the revelations she’s had in her life have been through sex and relationships, and she’s more … More