Release Date: May 13, 2016
Record label: Carpark Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Dream Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
While Young Magic has always been enjoyable, oftentimes it was a passive enjoyment. Debut album Melt was pleasant enough to listen to start-to-finish multiple times, but only a few tracks (led by “You With Air”) touched the senses with much bravado, and 2014’s sophomore effort, Breathing Statues, seemed to blur the band’s progression. They were very much still the same band, but their development was suspect, and it often felt like singer Melati Malay deferred to long-time collaborator Isaac Emmanuel too often, perhaps in a show of middling confidence.
Still Life, the third full-length by Brooklyn-based Young Magic, is easily the globally conscious dream pop group's most personal statement to date. The album was inspired by lead songwriter and vocalist Melati Malay's homecoming visit to her native Indonesia following the death of her father. After an extensive period of digging up family lore, she returned to New York and began translating her feelings and personal discoveries into Young Magic songs.
One of the most buzzed-about tracks from Young Magic’s debut LP Melt was “Night In the Ocean”, an atmosphere-pooling, post-chillwave lullaby that glazed lead singer Melati Malay’s voice in shockwaves of reverb before casting it out into empty space. There’s not much to it lyrically, but the words that are there speak volumes about the group’s genre-tilting aesthetic. Among a whirlpool of detached articles, hollow verbs, and half-rapped mumblings, two lone nouns stand out, the two nouns that are spotlighted in the title: “night” and “ocean”.