Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic’s history so far reads a bit like a indie success story, even fairy tail. Here was a band (or rather, initially a solo bedroom project by one Luke Temple) whose 2009 self-titled debut, though it seemed to have come out of nowhere, was noticed, and liked, by enough people to eventually get the now-actual-band on the road with Grizzly Bear, and a record deal with Secret Canadian.
The first thing you notice about Pigeons, Here We Go Magic’s sophomore record, is that there’s nothing on it that stands out the way the very excellent “Fangela” did on the first, though songs like “Land of Feeling” and “Moon” are both the kind of pieces that grow on you the longer and longer you listen to them, and are very good. The second thing you notice, however, is how much better an album it actually is. Unlike the first record, which relied on Temple alone to fill out the layers of the songs, Pigeons utilizes the full band, and improves because of it. The songs are better composed, and more interesting: the experimental bits, which were a bit of a distraction, are more focused and purposeful, and tracks like the soft, circular “Vegetable or Native” end up being some of the most interesting on the album. Conversely, the band also gives Temple the outlet to write pieces that could almost be considered straightforward. This does allow for the biggest missteps on the album – “Old World United” and “Casual,” where Temple’s falsetto suddenly seems cloying, and, in the case of the former, like they are trying much too hard to make a “fun” song – but it also provides the structure for the excellent, Flaming-Lips-esque “Surprise,” or the nearly rollicking first single “Collector,” both of which have purpose without losing their sense of exploration. Pigeons isn’t a perfect record, but considering it’s the band’s second album in not even that many years, it’s pretty damn good proof that it’s only a matter of time before that appears.