Tuesday, February 10, 2009

here we go magic by here we go magic

I hate to be the bearer of bad news...but you can't listen to the new Animal Collective forever. Don't get me wrong -- you can and will come back to it. It's a classic, that's not up for debate. But there hasn't been a single documented case of someone listening to it on continuous repeat since tearing off the shiny cellophane disc covering. It's just not going to happen. So, with the specter of AC-related ear fatigue looming, and the new Grizzly Bear album still a dot on the release horizon, where's a geek to go for her sonic ear-quilt of sound?

I for one am whole-heartedly nominating Here We Go Magic's self-titled debut album (out February 24). The only problem? This isn't just a stopgap; it's an oasis. Problem? Oh no...I smell a sonic war brewing. At least in true indie-rock fashion it's bound to be non-confrontational. And pretty. Kids, pretty is the word of the day. Got it?

Here We Go Magic lead-man Luke Temple possesses what both Ben Gibbard and Sufjan Stevens have called one of the prettiest voices in indie-rock. Here though, it's just another instrument in the mix rising above the din in a way that evokes equal parts Au and Radiohead. It's the sort of distant, electro-daydream voice you wish could sing you to sleep and coo at you until you've regained consciousness in the morning. I could listen to the looped chanting on album opener "Only Pieces" every morning. This is of course to say, yes, it is pretty.

Of course, to write this album off as simply "pretty" or "gentle" is to completely miss the point. This is a study of contrasts -- its beauty (wow, mixing up my descriptors!) sneaks up on you. One of the rare albums that's both accessible (it's so going on my next party playlist), and complex (I'm so going to sit around swirling a snifter of brandy, parsing point and counterpoint melodies), it's a complete musical journey. Just when you've been lulled into a free-floating daydream, there's a distinct shift in the musical tides -- tropical, electro-pop, funk. Sometimes it's taken to extremes (I'll admit it, I don't get the inclusion of "Nat's Alien." It seems like weird for weird sake rather than a deliberate placement within a cohesive album), but it's never boring. This is the sort of rare music that seems equally appropriate night and day. And being so pretty musically complex, you're going to want to hit repeat. Just don't get too obsessed, okay?

mp3: "Tunnelvision" by Here We Go Magic

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