(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CD review - Here We Go Magic, The January EP (2011)

The six tracks on The January EP sidle off in their own directions, but Here We Go Magic infuses each of them with a layered hypnotic feel. Like a wine tasting, there are all kinds of subtleties to pick up on while recognizing the stylistic foundation driving their music.

The lead off song, Tulip dresses its version of the theme in a psychedelic mix of early Yes and Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd. The lo-fi aesthetic still holds enough detail to support the heavily layers, swirling, repetitive groove. The sharp beat adds a Krautrock feel. When I had The January EP on auto-repeat to soak it in, I smiled every time Tulip came on. The bouncy joy was infectious.

My other favorite track, Backwards Time also evoked Yes, albeit from later in their career. The driving rhythm, tight guitar riff and Luke Temple's voice all made the verses sound like a hyped up Owner of a Lonely Heart. It's catchy indie rock, but the busy arrangement, with strata of details bubbling through maintain the hypnotic motif of the project.

The other tunes take their own paths, from the uptempo dream pop of Hands in the Sky to the experimental sparseness of Hollywood. Here We Go Magic does a fine job of maintaining their artistic coherency through the twists and turns of The January EP. It's an interesting contrast: none of the songs cover the same ground, yet there is a kind fungibility, where the tracks can play in random order and still reveal something interesting.

The January EP came out a week or so ago on Secretly Canadian.

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