February 14, 2012 - Carpark
Young Magic have a lot going on throughout their debut full-length, Melt. The New York City-by-way-of-Australia trio tackle more in 11 songs than most bands do in an entire career. Dreamy, psychedelic shoegaze signifiers atop recurring dance beats and worldly vocals create a sound that’s vibrant, if not a little unsettling. The high-pitched banshee loop on “Slip Time” is enough to have some listeners running in the opposite direction, but those willing to stick it out will benefit from a masterful rhythm and the kind of “aw, fuck it” vocal confidence usually reserved for long-ago-established alt-artists such as Björk and Sonic Youth. “You With Air” was recorded at a children’s playground in Melbourne for natural ambient kids’ chatter, but mainman Isaac Emmanuel throws a cocky swagger and some risqué lyrics over top to create a track that bends and breaks at both ends. The midway point “Night In The Ocean” doesn’t let up in the weirdness department; it sounds like a mashup of early Beck and My Bloody Valentine. After that, the album just gets weirder (see “Watch For Our Lights,” a bottomed-out, blown-speaker, wind-tunnel-gone-wrong track). Whether it’s Nintendo glitch, looped madness or ambient tribal rhythms, nothing is normal on Melt. The band are probably a little too ambitious for their own good, but kudos to them for not holding back.