Still from "Sparkly" video (director: Dylan Wiehahn)
I first wrote about New York trio Young Magichere and here, and now I've finally heard their full-length. Like the singles they've released to date (and equally strong B-sides), this 11-track set plays like a nice warm bath. To some, that might sound like a backhanded compliment, but I can't think of anything more relaxing.
The second the first track, "Sparkly," began to play; I found myself sinking into waves of multi-tracked sighs, jingling chains, and plush keyboards. Even as the drumming increases in intensity, the song remains more buoyant than earthbound.
I have a soft spot for spaced-out electro-pop like Air and AM & Shawn Lee, and Melt scratches a similar itch. Recorded in 10 countries by two Australians and one Indonesian, it plays like a DFA production as interpreted by a Putumayo outfit.
Though Carpark Records is marketing the record as a college rock release, Young Magic's debut incorporates all manner of exotic influences and phrases ("Yalam," "Jam Karet"), so it's no surprise that they've remixed Exotica icon Martin Denny. Granted, they sing in English, but I'll be damned if I can tell what they're saying.
If I have a complaint, it's that the non-singles are too weightless. They're not quite filler, but the melodies are less memorable. Fortunately, the band has a strong, instantly identifiable style that ties it all together. I've watched some of their performance videos on YouTube, and they definitely bring it in the live context. The trance-like possibilities inherent in the grooves become more potent.
I don't mind the aural wallpaper effect of the lesser tracks, like the one below, but they do make the record a distinct high-end boutique possibility. It wouldn't surprise me to hear Melt playing in Anthropologie. But nor would it disappoint me.
Carpark releases Melt just in time for Valentine's Day: February 14, 2012.