February 15, 2010 Magic Man
Magic Man is a band I would love to be in.
I accidentally discovered these guys today, and I’ve been listening to their debut album “Real Life Color” on repeat instead of doing the mountain of work I need to finish. They’re opening for Dan Deacon on April 8th, (it’s BU students only. Damn) and I saw they were offering their album for free on the facebook page for the event. A point and a click later, the album’s in my iTunes. A few listens later, I am so moved by the music that I feel it necessary to share it with everyone I know.
Blippy 8-bit tones, otherworldly moods, psychedelic layerings and catchy songwriting dominate this album by Boston natives Sam Lee and Alex Caplow. Written in the French countryside while working on organic farms, the songs of this album have the feeling of experimentation that removal from society can force upon a person. Lyrics about things more important than having poker faces or putting rings on it juxtapose fat dance beats and interesting and angular basslines. Delicate piano lines, simple chord progressions, and triumphant melodies in songs such as “Polygons” make the music soar and seem reminiscent of childhood imaginary friends or hours spent on swingsets in August ’95. We’re all living on a rock flying through the cosmos, and Magic Man makes me realize how silly being adult and worrying over things that I’ll forget about in a week is.
My favorite song on the album is “Daughters”. The crackling static of found-sounds and old scratchy records of the first twenty seconds gives way to a melancholy-yet-uplifting, heavily layered lo-fi/elecronic dance party. The song also showcases how the band is unafraid of silence. Long pauses filled just by a lone human voice and a few synth blips make them seem vulnerable, heartfelt, and earnest.
Lyrics such as:
“Fill another glass/I’m still underwater/Warm up your father’s car/Like the oldest daughter”
at first seem vague and meaningless, but to me seem like snapshots of very specific memories of childhood of the songwriter. Magic Man is a conglomeration of certain music styles of the past decade, yet at the same time, it does not let these styles dominate or dictate who they are as a band or what kind of sounds they can use or songs they can write. Fresh and unapologetically sincere, this band will be making moves in the coming years.
After only listening to the album a few times, these guys are already one of my favorites. Please give them a listen!
Visit Magic Man’s website to download the entire album for free!