Sometimes the birth of new music is so fortuitous that there seems to be a small batch of high quality music still missing. The follow-up, or counterpart if you will, to last year’s critically-acclaimed Pigeons, The January EP is definitely the makings of a progressing, still evolving and growing band. Although there are remnants left in the subtle way Here We Go Magic’s instrumentation blends with atmospheres for a fantastic melody, this a band far removed from “Fangela”’s jangling sound. So much so that for that aforementioned LP from last year the band had so much great music still brewing that they amassed The January EP.
Once you get past The Shins’ vibe of opener “Tulip,” the chugging reflection of “Hands in the Sky” showcases a shimmering sound that is equal parts mellow, as it is mesmerizing. Whereas singer/songwriter Luke Temple has always carried a strong voice, his vocals on this EP soar with a towering presence. On the latter song they rush the emotions of the music into a flurry of intertwining guitars and terrific instrumental breakdowns. There’s an astounding amount of chemistry in the way the music’s passages take shape through meticulously crafted harmonies. The density of the music and chords is one thing but the sheer amount of layers the band adds is merely, strength in numbers.
While Here We Go Magic has always maintained folk credibility and surely, an ambient nature too, the music on The January EP ensures that different cycles of sounds are introduced to the spectrum. On “Backwards Time” the music ebbs with a stunning synthesizer that gives the song an almost 80s new-wave feel; however, that’s mostly based on the pulsating beats because the overall guitar and vocal cadence is something more reminiscent of The Rural Alberta Advantage. And still, the EP’s shining moment is more than likely the startling “Song in Three” and how it blends an electronic charge with tones and sounds that recall old Elton John in his prime. There’s a brilliant duel between the guitars that almost recall a fugue and in the best of the ways, the song’s swells are met with remarkable choral arrangements.
As a stand-alone, six-set album, it compares just fine to last year’s eight-set Pigeons and in many ways, is a detached piece on its own. With songs that are as refined and delicately composed as this, Here We Go Magic have already presented a strong catalog to take notice of. Fortunately, one can only hope that a batch of songs to help round out an album would be this easy to find.
“Song in Three” by Here We Go Magic
“Hands in the Sky” by Here We Go Magic