Album Review of Closure by Piano Magic.
Release Date: Jan 27, 2017
Record label: Second Language
All good things must come to an end. The sort of cult band you’ve either taken for granted, or simply remained oblivious to throughout their lifespan, Piano Magic’s twelfth album will also be their final one, and what a way to bow out. The elegiac grace that coats this aptly-titled record has always clung limpet-like to Glen Johnson’s forever-in-flux collective, demonstrated most beautifully here by the soothing balm of strings on closer I Left You Twice, Not Once, as though trying to ease the blow of the final notes we’ll ever hear from a band who deserved more than relative obscurity.
Piano Magic open their 12th record with the epic title track "Closure," thus making it immediately clear they don't intend to avoid the fact that it will be their last. In contrast to the earlier track "No Closure" from their grim yet beautiful WWI concept album Artists Rifles, they seem determined to close the door firmly on this 20-year-old post-rock collective. Founding member Glen Johnson exploits his weary croon to great effect as he sings the lines "Let's get this thing sewn up/Let's get this thing signed off/Let's tie up these loose ends," resolute in his efforts to achieve some sort of catharsis.
Although 2012’s Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet was to have been Piano Magic’s swansong LP, its title hid a get-back-together clause in plain sight. With leader Glen Johnson having recently endured the end of a long-term relationship and the death of his father, the need for expansive catharsis that potentially only Piano Magic could channel, has reunited the group for one last album. Featuring Johnson re-joined by most of the latter-day band line-up (Jerome Tcherneyan, Alasdair Steer and Franck Alba) and a few choice guests, the more affirmatively named Closure captures Piano Magic bowing-out in stinging and serene form.