The Twin Atlas – Magic Car Wash

The Twin Atlas
Magic Car Wash

Magic Car Wash by The Twin Atlas is good music, but a bit difficult to pin down. At under 27:00, the disc is a collection of pristine passages of music that do not congeal but offer many moments of meditative disassociation where perception and consciousness separate. Sitting through the entire album is like driving hundreds of miles through sun-hazed prairie; you are aware of time and distance passing but the part of your brain that handles the road operates independently from your thinking. Before you know it, you have gone hundreds of miles but don’t remember any of it.

The sticker on the CD says “mid-fi psychedelic folk-pop,” but just know that you are getting music best described as “atmospheric” and – many a critic’s favorite adjective – “pastoral.”

Some of the songs have vocals; others fade in and out, more a lingering scent than sound. Because there is no theme to the album, the disc doesn’t play like a typical soundtrack; but Magic Car Wash could easily become a fitting audio accompaniment to your morning.

Magic Car Wash is billed as a mini-album and companion piece to The Twin Atlas’ 2005 release Sun Township. There have been about half a dozen discs since the band’s creation at the turn of the century, and each release is a collection of delicates utilizing various influences and instrumentation. They are the work primarily of Sean Byrne, an indie veteran and former member of several bands, including Matt Pond PA.

Magic Car Wash might be too disengaging for some listeners, and pure song-writing enthusiasts might object to the “folk” designation, but most people who enjoy well crafted sounds should find plenty of stimulation here.