Majical Cloudz were one of my main highlights from SXSW (see my top 20). Their brilliant live show was intense with Devon Welsh’s piercing gaze and dark-edged lyrics set to Matthew Otto’s gossamer productions.
First single and free download ‘Childhood’s End’ showcases that heavy weight subject matter with the opening line “someone died / gunshot / right outside / your father / he is dead / I see him / in my head,” while a brooding minimal electronic arrangement works its way around the listener. It’s taken from their album Impersonator out on Matador Records on May 17. Welsh explains their minimalist approach:
In the last few years there’s been a massive explosion of amazing music made with computers, samplers and other electronic equipment. The possibilities became nearly endless and musicians indulged those possibilities. I love that kind of music but it also started to overwhelm me. I wasn’t cut out for the maximalist expressions of that style. So I took a break from music, and when I started again it was to make music that barely existed and felt like stillness more than movement. Where the songs could be more about humanness. I love all forms of electronic music, techno, house, rave, hip-hop, but I never want to feel like the music I’m making is just about stylistic play. The easiest way for me to do that is try to make something without obvious movement; where the music isn’t overstuffed sonically or referentially, it’s emptied out as much as possible. So the vision for Impersonator was to communicate a lot with as little as possible. It’s not meant to energize and turn you out to the world, it’s meant to do the opposite; it’s more like a cocoon.
‘Turns Turns Turns’ also features on the record.
02. This Is Magic
03. Childhood’s End
04. I Do Sing For You
06. Turns Turns Turns
07. Silver Rings
09. Bugs Don’t Buzz