Review Summary: Smooth, sexual, mysterious.
Magic Wands are crashing the electro-pop scene with their self-described “lovewave”, an invented genre that combines elements of shoegaze, dream-pop, indie, and electronica. The “love” half of the title comes from the smooth musical soundscapes and limber vocals of Dexy Valentine - two sultry strokes of genius liberally utilized in their debut album Aloha Moon
. With each heavy, moist beat and tingling wave of tropical-sounding instrumentation, it becomes more apparent that Magic Wands intend to envelop your senses, only releasing them for the few cool breezes that surface. As a sparse electric riff or ice-tinged piano passage manages to poke its head through, the vast majority of Aloha Moon
is drenched in heat; drowned in the sounds of summer, lust, and undying passion.
Magic Wands’ debut has already been described as “bewitching”, “sensual”, and “hauntingly sexy” – but perhaps the best descriptor of the album lies right within the band’s name. Throughout Aloha Moon
, there is a mystical quality that pervades all of the ideas swirling about this abstract “lovewave”, and if you allow yourself to sink into the atmosphere, you just might uncover what that elusive quality is. Take the pulsating, gyrating beat of ‘Teenage Love’ for example, where the glimmering electronic effects and soaring vocals combine to create something that is more than trippy, more than captivating – hell, it even tops transcendental. There is only one way to sum it up, and it is “magical.” Of course, there is no wizardry that goes into the making of the music, but the careful placement of every note results in something so rarely dynamic that it could be perceived that way. Regardless of genre, that is an impressive feat and an exciting prospect for listeners of all backgrounds and tastes.
While the album does appear to be slightly inconsistent in terms of quality, it never loses its focus from an artistic perspective. ‘Black Magic’, ‘Treasure’, and ‘Wolves’ are all significantly less memorable tracks than, say, any of the first four songs. But even through their inability to engage the listener shines a beacon of originality which permeates Aloha Moon
for its entire duration. No matter how much you scrutinize the record, you will fail to uncover a moment that betrays the atmosphere upon which it was founded. In the end, that
type of consistency is more important than complete, uniform excellence because it shows a vision…one that could perhaps be fulfilled in the future with a little refinement and seasoning. Thus, Magic Wands is a band boasting extremely high potential as the cherry on top of an already impressive debut.
won’t be the deepest album you will listen to this year. It doesn’t reveal layers upon layers of textural and lyrical genius. It doesn’t pioneer unfounded musical soil, unveiling something groundbreaking to the musical community. What it does do, however, is provide the ideal summer soundtrack. It is charismatic, warm, and sexy, with just the right touch of mystique. To describe it in a visual sense would be to liken it to an exotic dancer slowly removing her clothes before the orange glow of an island sunset…on the moon. If that doesn’t leave you wondering, even a little bit, then you might want to double check your pulse.