Here We Go Magic: A Different Ship

here we go magic, a different shipHere We Go Magic: A Different Ship
Here We Go Magic is one of those groups you don’t want to see in all your friend’s record collections. On listening to their relentlessly hip first release, Pigeons, (2010, Secretly Canadian) one can’t help but get struck with the inspiration to start a band, if nothing else to be just as cool as Here We Go Magic.
Unlike alotta other indie acts, especially those hailing from Brooklyn, Pigeons, never seemed to suffer in said circles from that tired hipster game of, “Who can be the most obscure?” Which, of course, only made it that much more enjoyable. It’s got chops in the form of swirling synth miasma on tracks like “Collector,” and street cred without the uppity stench that clings to the scene like so much wet flannel.
So we couldn’t be more excited some months ago when the release date for Here We Go Magic’s newest album, A Different Ship was announced. And as the name would imply, the group is branching out in new directions like a sapling in Spring.
The first few tracks offers some of the same bi-polar eccentricity heard on Pigeons, however a slower, more intelligent approach is taken as the album progresses. In place of the expected neurosis we find a greater depth to the ambiance, a release from the frenetic looping with more focus on musicianship and atmosphere. One will find the production value has blossomed as well, and indeed perhaps the confidence of the band has improved.
Then, just as you find yourself sinking into the monotony and dead pan delivery, HWGM rip you away from the dream state on, “How Do I Know.” The beat picks up, and major chords resurface, only to be swallowed again on the following track “Miracle Mary,” lending one to the imagery of a Monet waterscape or the opening chapter of McCarthy’s Suttree.       
A Different Ship closes out a bit confusingly with its title track, offering uncharacteristic breakdowns, a strange jazz flavoring, and a final return to the extended aural hallucination. And perhaps spiting our expectations was the message behind the entire album. Frankly, I’ve listened to A Different Ship a couple dozen times now, and still can’t decide whether I love it or hate it.
The album as a whole suffers to inspire emotions, but it does generate a wealth of thought which is entertaining in its own right. And for this reason my friends, I would say don’t buy this album. I don’t want to see it in your record collections. Like an ex-girlfriend or good book, I want to keep Here We Go Magic mine.
Rating: 5.0/10
MP3: Here We Go Magic “Hard to Be Close”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl