First Look: Here We Go Magic – S/T

Here We Go Magic‘s self-titled debut is a dank, surreal album, made with equal parts electronic wizardry and gloomy folk mysticism. There’s plenty of magic in songs such as “Fangella,” a song that evokes Simon & Garfunkel’s early-morning ruminations even as drum machines and synth programming dance above Luke Temple’s sunken singing. “Tunnelvision” is another highlight, his voice wafting along as a groove clomps and stomps beneath him.

But the album’s swampy mix of digital and analog styles — along with the album’s occasional instrumental bits and Temple’s bright vocal range, most recalls the approach of Chad VanGaalen, a performer whose own adventurous releases rank easily among the decade’s most artful. Like VanGaalen’s Infiniheart, Temple breaks up his pop songs with instrumentals, but to the detriment of Here We Go Magic, pads the album’s second half with a few too many. As textural, ambient pieces, they’re interesting enough — but after the effortless psych-pop finale of “Everything’s Big,” it’s hard not to want to hear Temple sing a few more songs, especially given Magic‘s scant 9 tracks. He may have already — Temple already has a pair of previous albums under his own name which I have yet to track down, and perhaps this is his move toward left-field. Either way, the album is a journey down the rabbit hole that bears more than a few round trips.

Here We Go Magic – “Tunnelvision”: mp3

Previously: Video: Here We Go Magic – “Tunnelvision”


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