words fae ryan martin (@ryanmartin182)
The Magic Gang have managed to stay relatively quiet since releasing a handful of songs on a couple EPs and singles over the past two years. While achieving more popularity in their homeland of Great Britain than the US, The Magic Gang have yet to experience mass success. Though their self-titled debut proves they are not only ready for success, they’re hungry for it.
The Magic Gang’s first proper album is stuffed with summery indie jams that sound like they were crafted with the mindset of young optimism. It’s the sound of a promising up-and-coming band that is not only aware of the bright future they are carving out for themselves: they can’t wait for it.
Cuts like Jasmine, All This Way, and All I Want is You, are re-recorded from the band’s earlier days in 2016. They sound bolder, brighter, and much grander. Jasmine is a song that is impossibly hard to shake off – the shiny lead guitar melody is absolute pop euphoria.
To be fair, The Magic Gang’s debut won’t be the most substantial record you hear this year. With that being said, there’s something more behind this record that makes it more than an average indie pop record. Almost every song on the album seems to burst and pop with bright chords and fantastic melodies. There’s a hint of familiarity to each song by the time they come to an end. You’ve become buried in the chorus and feel comfortable shouting along to them in your head, as if you’ve heard them before.
Spanning roughly under an hour, with 14-original tracks and 2 acoustic renditions, the deluxe version of The Magic Gang offers just a little more than you would normally need from an album of this genre. It’s quite impressive to see so many memorable hooks, shiny melodies, and impressive ideas stretched over 14 original songs; especially for such a young band.
The Magic Gang will not convince you that they’re the best up-and-coming indie band by the end of the record because they’re not. There is nothing on this record that has not be done before by other bands, and arguably in a better fashion. As streaming has taken the lead position of how music is digested, it’s becoming clearer that the success of an album will be roughly defined by how well the singles do. Rather than listening to a full album, most listeners are picking and choosing their favorite songs to craft their own spread of songs to last however long they choose to listen. With that established, The Magic Gang’s debut is brimming with the hopefulness and drive to keep the listener interested by carrying the energy of each track seamlessly over to the next. It’s rare that an album is as consistent in terms of energy from start to finish.
It’s worth noting that not every song on The Magic Gang will blow you away. They are definitely songs much stronger than others, such as All This Way, Jasmine, and How Can I Compete. The weaker tracks aren’t much worse though, except for the extremely forgettable, Take Care. While you won’t find yourself blown away by a handful of tracks, they do their job entirely by keeping the momentum of the album at a steady pace.
The Magic Gang have done a fantastic job at crafting a solid, impressive and exciting debut. By the end of the LP, you’ll be looking forward to their next release as much as you’re looking forward to warmer weather. It’s certainly one of the most pleasant, warm and consistent indie-pop records to have dropped in years.