Here We Go Magic – Here We Go Magic

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Here We Go Magic - Here We Go Magic

The disclaimer on Here We Go Magic’s myspace page is clear and direct: “Head phones please.” Words that hold an accurate, recognizable piece of advice that should be heeded at all times possible with the Brooklyn band’s heady, translucent and utterly ambient music. It is because of this stunning array of moody songs that the group’s self-titled debut should be taken very seriously. It’s not only one of music’s best new albums but it is, easily, one of the best albums of the short year.

Take the shaky, accordion-jangled closer, “Everything’s Big.” Here is a sparse and open shackle of music that is equal parts inviting and intimately personal. Luke Temple’s fragile and trembling voice provides an adoring sound that lastingly completes the album’s atmospheric sounds. And after a suite of lulling and calming songs, it’s one triumphant ending.

The music on Here We Go Magic is something entirely innovative and yet, it nestles its beauty along with vivid images of 60s pop and 70s folk. It’s one of those albums that recalls Simon and Garfunkel’s best days, while attempting to re-create the wide open spaces that the wall of sound so greatly reached. Temple is the sole songwriter and for the most part, these ambitious goals are succeeded with elegant ease.

“Only Pieces” opens the set with a folk and shuffle that sounds like one of Sam Beam’s better cuts. The music rustles along with chugging percussion and guitars that strangely re-create sitar-like strums. All the while, the vocals are harmonized and joined at the hip with falling and jumbled chords. The music evokes a much calmer Yeasayer—without all of the worldly sounds and scopes. This is followed by one of the unmistakable songs of the year, “Fangala,” a song whose hook will leave you paralyzed with the love of music. The transition between the songs is something to behold and the latter’s melody is a dying breed that is remarkably executed.

The album treads right along with more of the same gifted styles and it begins to resemble what one would call a truly mesmerizing performance. Remember that part about the headphones? Here is where that all ties in and where the harshest disagreements between fans and critics will arise. After four tremendously arranged songs comes the haze and confusion of “Ghost List.” It sounds like one of Bradford Cox’s instrumental interludes, except here it goes on for four solid minutes. It’s fitted nicely into the entire picture and it serves as a melting pot of mist and smog.

Slowly after is the repetition of “I Just Want to See You Underwater.” Temple channels his inner Panda Bear and reaches a modest level with a nice change of pace. The next two songs are more of same foggy miasmas that seem to move slowly and sometimes, very slowly, to nowhere. At first, they can sound inconvenient and unfortunately misplaced but with proper attention, they convey a superb skill of musicianship.

The lead single, “Tunnelvision” is downright wonderful and it’s one of the catchiest things on an album filled with supremely fashioned music. But this isn’t your normal poppy album because there is a knowledgeable set of musicians behind the music and although it isn’t perfect, the substance is unmatched. The headphones announcement is duly noted as it brings out some of the finer hints of life scattered all over the album. And when you get down to it, that’s what this is all about: making real, thrilling, lively music that is only concerned with being good and enjoyable. When you follow that recipe, it’s bound to lead to success and believe me; these New Yorkers have struck gold with Here We Go Magic.