Review : Here We Go Magic - Here We Go Magic
CokemachineglowScore one for the cartographers, those exploding heads who smear their glorious gobbledigook across sheets and ears alike in their own maddeningly personal take on order. It’s our duty as listeners to distinguish them from the colonialists, the kids with the admittedly great record collections who appropriate and export in near echoes rather than place their stamp on things.
I start out this way because “Only Pieces” immediately conjures 2008’s Most Contentiously Likable Band, Vampire Weekend. And there groans the collective readership, whether they like Vampire Weekend or not, clicking back in their browsers and moving on. I understand. Knowing that an album is something you’ve already liked is probably worse than discovering something you can hate in a new way, and Here We Go Magic is certainly not that. Rest assured, it’s a subliminal record that slips effortlessly into your listening rotation, cycling through your days as naturally as through its arrangements, vining around your psyche and hanging there unobtrusively. This is downright accommodating next to Vampire Weekend’s elbowing of whoever used to be indie’s inoffensive counterweight (the Shins?) off the pedestal.
The differences are many and essential. Replace VW’s self-consciousness with contemplation; their laborious, dutiful movements through song structure with textures that run together, sometimes like water or sometimes like paint; the needling singles “Oxford Comma” and almost offensively titled “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” with “Fangela” and “Tunnelvision.” Here We Go Magic fully commit to the slimmed down ideas, exploring the fullest parameters of their primary colors, which is exactly what I want from a debut album: masterful control of a humble scope. That this album is one of the year’s most unpretentious indie records is as certain as that Vampire Weekend, fresh from their performance on Jimmy Kimmel with some university marching band, are right now considering the virtues of a string section, courting Brian Eno, or getting uppity with ethical condescension for their followup....full text
SpinIt's a risky proposition when a largely unheard artist wraps himself in a new identity that's clearly evocative of two trendy styles -- Panda Bear's Beach Boy–ish psychedelia and the Afro-pop revived by Vampire Weekend. But Brooklyn's Luke Temple possesses both an eerily high-pitched cry and a facility for his adopted grooves that makes the results far more distinctive than derivative. "Fangela" would work as a campfire lullaby, but here it ripples with high-speed harp arpeggios that undulate like a centipede's legs in an unearthly electronic jungle. Magic indeed....full text
Undertheradarmagne of the most gently amazing albums of the year thus far, Here We Go Magic is the work of Brooklyn’s Luke Temple. Recorded in only two months, Here We Go Magic has the well-worn feel of years of work. The obsessive singer/songwriter who locks him/herself in an apartment to labor over an album all on their own is threatening to become its own genre, with Panda Bear’s Person Pitch and the Loney Dear recordings coming closest in tone and flavor to Here We Go Magic. Technology may someday overthrow and kill us, as the movies foretell, but for now, it has become a wonderful outlet for such introverted and talented performers who may have, in another time, been shut out of recording music altogether.
Thankfully, Temple has come along here and now. The album opens with twin stunners, the Brian Eno/Talking Heads-inflected “Only Pieces,” with its hypnotic chorus, “What’s the use in dying, dying,” and the far-off acoustic sound and disembodied handclaps of “Fangela.” “I Just Want To See You Underwater” builds for a couple of minutes before Temple emerges from the haze to utter the titular words. He has a gorgeous voice, but he only truly breaks it out on “Tunnelvision.” The result takes your breath away....full text
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