A Wintry Kind of Magic
The January EP exudes little of the cold, static frigidity its name implies. Like the beginning of a new year, however, it holds a wealth of possibilities for Here We Go Magic. The six-track EP was recorded along with the band’s 2010 album Pigeons in an upstate New York farmhouse. The January EP has a more flexible feel than Pigeons, a protean, inventive sound that blurs together artsy alt-rock and psychedelic folk-pop.
The EP begins with “Tulip,” a vacillating, atmospheric jam that pulses with fuzzy guitars and emphatic percussion. Luke Temple’s high, quavering tenor carries “Hands in the Sky” forward over airy background vocals, muted drums, and low, melodic guitars. Like much of The January EP it’s a little spacey, blending harmonic instrumentation and meandering, expansive songs that unfold and grow organically. “Song in Three,” a swaying lo-fi waltz, has the same rich melodic warmth, its synth lines floating and undulating above a constant foundation of guitar arpeggios.
The strangest track on the EP is undoubtedly “Hollywood,” a song with Temple’s ethereal voice keening above slow, plucked strings in an eerie, otherworldly ode that’s at once futuristic and baroque. This genre- and time-bending theme continues on “Backwards Time.” As its name suggests, the song feels like a throwback to the psychedelic disco of the ’70s. Its shambling funky beat and driving guitar riff send you back a few decades before sputtering out into the electro effects of “Mirror Me,” which loses its luster behind heavy distortion and a barrage of futuristic sounds.
The January EP may be a sort of afterthought tacked on to Here We Go Magic’s previous album. Still, it has an avant-garde spirit that sets it apart, giving insight into the band’s potential for experimentation and growth.