Release Date: Apr 24, 2012
Record label: Bright Antenna
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
If there was one thing the graduating class of Rock ‘N’ Roll High 2008-09 had in spades it was tough lookin’ guy/gal duos. Crystal Castles, Kap Bambino, Ting Tings, Sleigh Bells, Blood Red Shoes, erm…She & Him. Each lookin’ to steal your hearts, annoy the neighbours, burn bridges and look hella-cool whilst doing it. Alas one of the most promising, Nashville’s Magic Wands, proved too kool for skool.
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.
For a duo that’s opened for such acts as The Kills and The Horrors, it’s not hard to trace Magic Wands’ darker undertones lurking beneath their glitzy, nighttime hooks back to such pseudo-gothic bands. On Aloha Moon, the first proper LP from Chris and Dexy Valentine, they teeter on the brink of shoegaze, but not quite – their larger interest in sultry mood and rhythm make this an overall impressive debut. Magic Wands’ video messages to their fans online are astonishingly low-key, with light flares and Ray-Bans abound, and for a group as cheeky, however ironic or not, to dub their own sound as “lovewave”, some judgments might come flying before actually listening to the stuff.
Magic Wands’ sound is best described as what the band likes to call “lovewave.” Their mix of new-wave, pop and shoegaze, along with their preference towards the lovey dovey, comes together in the duo’s debut LP Aloha Moon. Composed of Chris and Dexy Valentine, Magic Wands presents an album thats theme centers around being in love and how magical that feeling can be. Aloha Moon, with its varying beats and instrumental intensities, maintains a very West Coast sound.