From the 617: Magic Man
by Lee Schlenker on December 28, 2013
Posted in: Electronic, Music, Pop, Rock
Alright, loyal readers. You’ve all waited too long and through too false promises for me to continue not writing about Magic Man. So, here it is – right now: the story of the 617′s fastest rising stars.
Ok, well, maybe it’s not much of a story. But what is important to know is that it all started with two Newton South grads, Sam Lee and Alex Caplow, whose debut release, Real Life Color, impressed a lot of people – myself included. A ten song LP, the album was recorded in the French countryside and produced during Lee and Caplow’s first two years at Yale and Tufts, respectively. Released in 2010, Real Life Color got a fair amount of big-time web coverage, picked up in reviews by Pitchfork, IndieCurrent and Bandcamp’s Best. In all of its greatness, however, the band’s freshman project has disappeared from the Internet – an intentional, strategic move by Magic Man to professionalize its image and revamp its sound. You can still access Real Life Color on Spotify and through Youtube, but, as of this writing, it remains un-downloadable and, thus, digitally elusive.
Now signed with Neon Gold Records–the subsidiary of Columbia Records that also boasts Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding and Haim–Magic Man has blossomed from a lo-fi bedroom duo into a triumphant synth-pop band, with hotbeds of support in Boston and Providence. The band’s newest, and most successful, release is September 2013′s You Are Here EP, an infectious, radio-ready project that equips this past May’s Fox Den Demos with two new tracks and a refined tone. Driven by Caplow’s powerfully emotive vocals, You Are Here is a tightly crafted electro-pop anthem, monumentalized by Lee’s production and filled in by a backing band similar to Passion Pit’s or Phoenix’s. Justine Bowe (Photocomfort) provides synth, Daniel Radin (The Novel Ideas) is on bass and Joey Sulkowski plays drums – generating a sound that is at once exultant and despondent, digital and humanist. Check out the album here, and be sure to check out their live recording of “Texas” in Providence.
Having toured with and opened for Walk the Moon, Cults, Ra Ra Riot and Charli XCX, Magic Man is an up-and-coming force in today’s synth-pop landscape, a band that–in its three years of existence–has already recorded, reworked and remixed dozens of incredible songs. Both versatile and radio-ready, the songs in Magic Man’s discography are ecstatic, pulsating and melodious – instant classics that are getting these 617ers some well-deserved recognition and praise.
To check out more of Magic Man’s music around the web, listen to “Polygons” off of Real Life Color. Also, hit their remix of “Yes Yes” by The Colourist. Of course, check out their Soundcloud, as well as their Facebook, which lists the schedule for their upcoming tour with New Politics. It’s stopping off in Burlington on January 29th, so you should all probably go.
Before you go, though, be sure to brace yourself for the next installment of “From the 617,” which will introduce you to another burgeoning artist from the 617 – the identity of whom is to remain undisclosed at this time. I guess you’ll just have to check back next time to see who it will be; however, what I can assure you is that, in spite of past promises left unrealized, it won’t be Magic Man. And that’s a promise.
Peace out and, as always, stay #BostonStrong.