2015 was the year that The Magic Gang would make their debut release, one that can only be described as seamless. Succeeding the release of No Fun/Alright, the band were immediately recognised by household names of alt-pop: Wolf Alice, and later on Swim Deep. Soon after this release they released two further EPs: The Magic Gang EP and The Second EP, with ‘Jasmine’ and ‘All This Way’ being the leading singles. It seemed that the four-piece had developed the perfect repertoire of catchy lyrics and bouncy beats. Yet there were hints of change circulating, within songs such as ‘Blue For You’, a song that seemed reminiscent of 1950’s two-part harmonies.
Since their last release, the quartet have worked to establish their roots in the sounds of the sixties. Released just six months after their second EP, EP 3 is the appropriate title given to four songs in need of little explanation. Produced by the Maccabees’ Hugo White, there’s a certainty of progression between the two releases. Welcoming listeners back are the band’s trademark playful bass lines and guitar riffs – however, there’s a new depth there that’s peculiar to this EP. With synchronised harmonies and dream-like psych melodies, the band alludes to an era in which classic-rock sounds were fabricated, encompassing the unmistakable, timeless pop sound of the 60’s. The latest EP seems to have encapsulated the characteristics of that movement, with a resonance that runs parallel to artists like The Beach Boys and The Kinks; both re-awakening, but more importantly, re-inventing such sounds.
The Magic Gang have successfully achieved the difficult task of taking inspiration from the past and making sounds relevant to the present. Opening track ‘Hotel Apathy’, with its slightly flat sound, reveals the somewhat sombre tones that run through EP 3. ‘Life Without You’ then reveals another side to the band; with its introspective lyrics, the ballad is a clear display of the band’s perfected harmonies and potential for lyrical development in future releases. The single ‘How Can I Compete’, however, stays on more familiar ground, a track that’s synonymous to college-rock with a wavy leading bassline.
EP 3 is a signpost of the bands diversity, hinting at a line of progression, one which revives the nostalgia of a classic musical era. With a rumoured 50 tracks behind the band, an LP may be the next venture for The Magic Gang – something I’m certainly expecting to be a great success.By Rebecca Higginbottom