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The Magic Gang made a stellar return with the joyous ‘Think’, which added some fleet-footed Northern Soul grooves to their melodic take on modern indie. It immediately made an impact at Radio 1 as it premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World, while Jack Saunders subsequently named it as Tune of the Week. Further radio play also came from Matt Wilkinson at Beats 1 and John Kennedy at Radio X.
The Magic Gang now build on that flying momentum with the news that their buoyant new album ‘Death Of The Party’ will be released on May 15th. It follows their self-titled first album, which was hailed as one of the best debuts of 2018 as the band earned award nominations from NME and Q.
‘Death Of The Party’ was recorded in Atlanta with the Grammy-winning producer Ben H. Allen (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley), whose work in alternative and pop matches for band’s own blend of genres.
The quartet approached the album with two objectives in mind. They aimed to broaden the scope of their harmony-rich, melodically focused pop. And inspired by Lou Reed, Alex Turner and especially Jonathan Richman they wanted to take a more observational lyrical approach.
The stories they tell reflect the experiences of many of their early-twentysomething contemporaries. They explore anxieties about money, relationships and the future, but also the fun moments that they use to escape from such issues. Two songs – Jack Kaye’s ‘Make A Sound’ and Kristian Smith’s title track – best encapsulate their flair for a narrative, with two radically different perspectives on a New Year’s Eve party. Meanwhile, the album closer ‘(The World) Outside My Door’ explores Jack’s guilt at writing music while the Extinction Rebellion protests were hitting the streets.
The album also finds The Magic Gang evolving their sound without losing what people loved them for in the first place. There are elements of disco in ‘Take Back The Track’ and ‘Make A Sound’, ‘Gonna Bounce Back’ hits somewhere between slacker rock and post-punk, while the piano, strings and vocal harmonies on ‘I Am Sunshine’ recalls their love of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.
Make A Sound
Just A Minute
What Have You Got To Lose
Death Of The Party
Take Back The Track
I Am Sunshine
Gonna Bounce Back
(The World) Outside My Door