Breathing Statues by Young Magic (Album)
Young Magic’s second effort boasts a broad range of cultural and musical influences that makes for a celestial, atmospheric album
reathing Statues is Australian producer Isaac Emmanuel and Indonesian vocalist Melati Malay’s second release under the name Young Magic. The duo composed the album over the past year while on tour, recording in Morocco, Australia, Iceland, France, Czech Republic, France and their home studio in New York. After supporting the likes of Purity Ring and Youth Lagoon on tour, one can expect a partly DIY element, particularly in the electronic region in their music. However their general sound is much more ambient.
On top of the global recording scheme, the duo invited a harpist to improvise over their songs, bringing yet another ethereal layer to their mysterious and atmospheric sound. This presents you with 40 minutes of atmospheric, electronic, psychedelic music.
After a short experimental introduction, you are met with first track Fall In. You’re immediately greeted with a looped, rhythmic bass-line acting as the backbone. This song has a fittingly modern, experimental, psychedelic sound that drips with atmosphere. Ethereal, harmonic vocals guide the songs and give them new directions, almost giving birth to another song entirely much in the same way as bands like Warpaint.
Foxglove is a lot more electronic-based. The many layers of sampling invite you to envisage the duo’s time writing around the globe. It’s slow-paced has a much more ambient quality about it than the previous track: a lot more like sample-based, experimental projects such as Balam Acab but with a little dash of Cocteau Twins thrown in.
The album contains many moments that show there is an influence of R&B and hip-hop/rap, such as artists like Flying Lotus. The distorted, unclear vocals mean if you’re looking for an album to relate to lyrically, you may need to dig a bit deeper but the emotion and passion still resounds throughout. Huge-sounding synths make songs almost danceable at times, in a way that’s very similar to BRAIDS vocalist’s side project Blue Hawaii.
Although not a conventional genre of music to review on this site, the resounding culture and intuitive thinking that went into album proves that sometimes it’s refreshing to listen outside of ones comfort zones.
Verdict: Intuitive work that draws on rap and R&B