In rotation: Magic Wands' 'Aloha Moon'
In Rotation: Magic Wands' "Aloha Moon." A series in Sunday Calendar about what Times writers and contributors are listening to right now...
The music world would seem to have maxed out on its need for synth-pop acts now, yet locals Magic Wands win affection with a calming effervescence. The 10 tracks on the act's full-length debut don't unfold so much as softly purr, with titles such as “Teenage Love” and “Kaleidoscope Hearts” summarizing the starry-eyed romanticism the pair specializes in.
Even when Magic Wands flash a little teeth, Chris and Dexy Valentine do it with noir-like seductiveness on “Kiss Me Dead,” in which guitars and electronics churn with an incandescence that feels as if it can evaporate at a moment's notice.
“Space” boasts a racing rhythm that wouldn't be out of place in a “Tron” film, and “Crystals” is layer upon layer of twilight atmospheres. In a twist, it's Dexy who sounds ice cold, and the synths that croon with warmth.
It all would be a tad drowsy if Magic Wands didn't have an occasional dip into something more sinister. “How can anyone ever feel the same?” Dexy sings around breathy beats and echoing guitars on “Black Magic.” It's a simple question but one no doubt responsible for a few sleepless nights.
Photo credit: Kristin Gerbert