Magic Hands
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Magic Hands

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Electro




"Magic Hands – Limousine"

Magic Hands is the new project of Alex Badham and Lucy Roleff, and ‘Limousine’ is their funky and exciting debut track.

There is so much going on in this track, and so much to love. If you’re a sucker for vocal interplay, then the alternating deep male vocals with Lucy’s smoky high notes is bound to make your ears melt. Add the eclectic mix of ambient driving percussion, haunting squelching organ-like synth and generalised woody undertones and you have a genre defining pop song that you just want to listen to again and again. I cannot wait for more from these two, there is a lot of exciting potential here. - Aussia Playlist


Australian Dream Pop duo, Magic Hands have premiered a new music video for track 'Limousine'. The video presents a glamorous look of beauty, this is then mixed with a clash of blood and gore in performance to contemporary dance and gymnastics. The video was directed by Alex Badham (who if you didn't know is actually in the duo, rad right. The beautiful songstress Lucy Roleff is the other half of the lovely duo that makes Magic Hands) - Wicked Child

"Watch: Magic Hands 'Limousine' Video"

First and foremost, there's that spine-tickling, organ-shaking beat, deep and thunderous and bordering on celebratory. Then, there's Lucy Roleff, chipping away at this grandiose backdrop with her hauntingly delicate vocals. As this battle plays out, Alex Badham (originally from experimental weirdo-pop outfit Aleks and the Ramps) steps in with a quick-fire guitar lick and a few bluntly-delivered opinions. Suitable to all this atypical activity, the visual side is handled by the slow-motion graces of blood-thirsty ballerinas, with no late night, potentially sordid "back of the limousine" activities in site. - See more at: - Rolling Stone

"Magic Hands – “Limousine” Video (Stereogum Premiere)"

Alex Badham and Lucy Roleff, two Australians who met in Germany, comprise the duo Magic Hands. Their intriguingly titled Let Me Hold You While You Fail arrives in September, and today they unveil the video for lead single “Limousine.” The song is a duet that splits the difference between Purity Ring’s beat-driven synth music and Magnetic Fields’ deadpan baroque chamber pop. (Just wait until Badham’s vocal enters halfway through and you’ll see what I mean.) Its video, meanwhile, stars Hana Dawson and Jack Traylen as supernaturally gifted dancers whose heated rivalry turns violent. It’s an excellent clip for an excellent song, so watch it below. - Stereogum

"Magic Hands - Tone"

Propelled by Lucy Roleff’s memorable, classically trained vocals and dark, thunderous bass, single Tone conjures images of a storm approaching. It’ll make you want to choreograph an interpretive dance. Two impressive remixes elicit unique feels, focusing on its different musical intricacies. For instance, the Campfire mix plays on its lyrical quality, evoking a traditional folk flavour with a plucked lute sound. The EP rounds off with a treat. Driven by an ominous duet, their sleepy, arty cover of Kylie’s I Believe In You really exemplifies the duo’s unusual style. They play at Grace Darling Hotel on 11 Apr. - The Music

"Watch: Magic Hands – ‘Golden Boy’"

It was late 2011 when Alex Badham (Aleks & The Ramps) met Lucy Roleff in a bar in Berlin. From here on, the two would join forces to make up the electro -dream-pop duo Magic Hands. The first taste of their forthcoming untitled EP is ‘Golden Boy’, a pulsating slow jam that will be officially released for download from their Bandcamp page tomorrow (8th May). The EP was recorded in early 2013, overlooking a barren French Island from a coastal holiday house and is accordingly inspired by “traditional music cultures, the Twin Peaks soundtrack, and 808 clap samples with way too much reverb“

MAGIC HANDS – GOLDEN BOY from AVBadham on Vimeo.
In the meantime, check out their film clip for ‘Golden Boy’ or even better, catch Magic Hands at one of their May residency dates at the Old Bar during the month of May, - All I do is Listen

"Magic Hands - Tone"

- Folktronica is such a strange genre. A sophisticated fusion of a variety of old timey singing and songwriting with lots of different noodlings on electronic equipment, suffering from all sorts of issues due to being too intellectual, too artificial, too twee and so on. Given that the sound is made out of the dismembered body parts left over from the historically bloody engagement between the forces of ‘authentic’ folk music and the merciless machinists intent on taking music into a cyborg future, it’s no wonder that it should constantly get on the goat of all sorts of music fanciers.

Yet, somehow, from Four Tet to Tunng, ever since the late ‘90s, folktronica keeps sneaking in: someone, somewhere, will sing reedily while strumming a mandolin or at least playing a sample of one on their laptop, as a tinny drum-machine bops away in the back.

So much of what you’ll hear is a throwback to those sounds from a decade or more ago. Despite the continued, fringey fascination, it’s been a long time since you could call anything folktronic, ‘fresh’.

Melbourne’s Magic Hands have changed that. A nouveau take on folktronica, bringing together, in lead cut, Tone, a boy + girl folk duo over shimmering, ambient synth, tinny snares, handclaps and thundering bass. The electronics are a mid-tempo mash of the sounds of trap and bass music with some ambient synths sluicing through, dissolving the very up-to-date electronics with folk music that is anything but. There’s nothing ‘indie’ at all about this folk (thank god), although in its lazy warmth there’s a hint of Hawaiian calypso, but mostly this is a very po-faced rendition of the 60’s folk tradition. You’ll hear that in high definition on the EP’s third track, where all the electronics are stripped away from Tone and the folk is allowed to play out pleasantly and even a little bit startlingly, by itself, in a tongue-in-cheek ‘Campfire Remix’.

In the original combination, the sound is SO folk and SO bass music it’s almost a parody. It’s difficult to believe that Lucy Roleff and Alex Badham weren’t snickering just a little bit when they created this. However, it’s very difficult to parody anything that you can’t actually do pretty well yourself, and this is very craftily put together and just pretty damn good.

The b-side, I Believe In You is similarly strong (and sounds, tragically, only a very little like the Kylie cover it is) with Alex Badham going all Bill Callahan over the vocal. Again, impossible to believe they weren’t on the floor, laughing, at some point, while recording this. The other remix of Tone, a blissed-out, ambient / easy-listening lull rounds out a surprisingly fulsome EP.

Especially with the rather risque sense of humour that these Magic Hands bring to their work, this teeters on the edge of being too twee, too generic and just plain wrong, more so than most folktronica even. Somehow however, seemingly effortlessly, this succeeds perfectly.

- Chris Cobcroft. - 4zzz

"Music Montag: Magic Hands"

Magic Hands are Alex and Lucy, two Australians who met in a smoky Berlin bar two years ago. Inspired by the Twin Peaks soundtrack, traditional music and 808 clap samples with way too much reverb. Naturally, they’re awesome. Check out the video for “Golden Boy”, available for download on the Magic Hands Bandcamp and follow them on Facebook for updates. - überlin


Lucy Roleff, the fantastic solo singer/illustrator extraordinaire that you may remember from our interview a wee while ago, is back, now operating with a pal as electro duo, MAGIC HANDS.

The sway-worthy number, Tone, will delight fans of quirk glitch wonder, Rainbow Chan, Guerre and the like. It’s dreamy and shows off the duo’s pretty dual vocals, nicely complimented by some bleeping synth action.

The video for Tone is surreal and picturesque. The pair shot it on a Mediterranean island during a recent tour in Europe. The end result is a breathtaking portrayal of what would have been a sweaty affair… hot Mediterranean heat, wandering cliffs and sand dunes while wearing polyester shirts? Nightmareish, but worth it. - Something You Said


The Magic Hands journey began during a European winter in 2011 when Melbourne musicians Alex Badham and Lucy Roleff crossed paths in a German bar. Three years later, with some international tours under their belt and a pending debut album release, Magic Hands emerge with a new psychedelic pop EP which draws on their influences of traditional music cultures, modern electronica, and 70’s psychedelic-infused sounds. The clip for their latest single, Tone, was filmed on a Mediterranean island during their most recent visit to Europe, and captures the essence of their neo-psychedelic explorations as they use sand dunes and cascading beach cliffs to depict a surreal Dali-esque backdrop within a dream pop context.

The Tone EP of the same name also features two remixes of the its debut release track, as well as a lo-fi cover of Kylie Minogue’s I Believe In You. The four-track EP is currently available through Bandcamp and will receive a full release through iTunes and other streaming service on April 1st, 2014. - More Than Disco

"The Neu Bulletin"

Melbourne duo Alex Badham & Lucy Roleff cryptically unveiled a couple of tracks two weeks back. The ‘Holy Times’ and the ‘Tone’ songs sitting there, waiting to be discovered by someone with too much time on their hands. ‘Tone”s the one you’ll fall for. A Beach House-style sway without the palm trees blowing in the background, it’s full of strange, subtle organ patterns and oddly fitting hip-hop beats. Truly beautiful. - DIY Magazine

"New Oz Music - Magic Hands - Golden Boy"

"Music happens everywhere all the time," Marcus said to me recently [in a profound and deeply impressive reference to an older band - Ed]. You might say the same for David Lynch, whose Twin Peaks aired and ended before most of the kids today who claim it as an influence were conscious. David Lynch is happening everywhere at all times, especially in Magic Hands' 'Golden Boy' which is said to have been inspired in part by the Twin Peaks soundtrack. You can certainly hear it. For those who find Silent Drape Runners a little too conceptual, and Peak Twins not conceptual enough, 'Golden Boy' is a damn fine song. Shout out to Hamishi Farah's dreadlocks. - The Vine

"New Band Alert: Magic Hands"

Band: Magic Hands.
Members: Alex Badham and Lucy Roleff.
Summary: Melbourne “electro dream-pop” duo of Aleks & The Ramps leader Alex Badham and solo artist Lucy Roleff, who met at a Ned Collette gig in Berlin around the time each was supporting Collette live. Responsible for the beautifully lethargic demos ‘Holy Times’ and ‘Tone’. Following a handful of gigs in Sydney and Melbourne so far, playing a Wednesday residency at The Old Bar this month; dates and supports below. Soon to relocate to Berlin for a few months. New single ‘Golden Boy’ echoes the demos, all downcast vocals and puttering drum machine. Transcend with the Badham-directed video below.
Quotes: “Inspired by traditional music cultures, the Twin Peaks soundtrack and 808 clap samples with way too much reverb.” - mess+noise

"The Profile: Magic Hands"

With so much new music floating around the interwebs, sometimes it’s hard to dig a little deeper and find out more about a promising artist.

That’s why The Profile is breaking it down for you. The Pitch takes care of the nitty gritty factual bits, The Plot serves as a Q & A with the artist, and The Plug is where you can go for more.

The Pitch

In the European winter of 2011, two Melbournites met in a typically smoky and tiny German bar. They were Alex Badham, of experimental pop band Aleks and the Ramps and lyrical folk songstress Lucy Roleff.

Throughout 2013 they wrote and recorded their debut album between a Northcote basement and a coastal holiday house in rural Victoria. Somewhere in the middle of that they released their first single, Golden Boy before returning to Germany for a string of shows.

Now back in Melbourne, they are preparing to release their debut album Let Me Hold You While You Fail. The first instalment of the album is new single Tone, a woozy folk song informed by the aesthetic of modern pop music. Its accompanying music video is a lo-fi psychedelic epic and was filmed on a Mediterranean island during their recent travels in Europe. Lucy from Magic Hands gave us a run down on this talented duo.

The Plot

Hometown: “I grew up in Ferntree Gully. We lived near the foot of the Dandenong ranges, which is perhaps why I feel quite pleasant when surrounded by hills or mountains.”

Genre: “Dream pop inspired by 1970s psychedelia, traditional folk styles and modern electronic music.”

Influences: “When we started writing the album, we were staying in my aunty and uncle’s beach house in rural Victoria. We would treat ourselves after a day of writing with a Hitchcock movie. Psycho is much scarier when one is distanced from neighbours/street lights. Anyway, we ended up in this spiral where we became a bit obsessed with the actor Anthony Perkins, who plays the psychopath. ‘Tone’ was actually inspired by his curious personal life.
Musically, the following get under our skin in a very good way: Hawaiian folk songs, Cambodian pop, Shoegaze, Arthur Russell, Cocteau Twins, These Trails, Chris Isaak, a small selection of Kylie Minogue songs and the sound of my cat purring after she’s just devoured kangaroo flesh.
I have been listening to this song on repeat for a few weeks now, Elizabeth Fraser is in a league of her own where melodies and phrasing are concerned:”

First song you ever wrote: “That would have been my 1997 smash-hit Stacey’s Babies. I was ten and the neighbourhood tramp cat, Stacey, carried her freshly born kittens to our front door. I named them “lightning, thunder, bubbles and cookie” – and this was the opening line of the song.”

Favourite local act: “Totally Mild! They’re supporting us at our single launch. Liz’s melodies are super good and interesting. We like melodies.”

Favourite local venue: “The Grace Darling. Between us we’ve played there the most over the past twelve months – it’s always a nice time and I like that they shifted the bar upstairs.”

Dream collaboration/s: “We recently composed the music for a short film for The Australian ballet and it was actually quite liberating to have clear guidelines in terms of genre. The classically trained side of me responds well to this structure I think. We would have enjoyed being alive to compose the music for Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hausu.”

Dream rider: “Coconut water, pumpkin pie and something involving salted caramel. Or even just a coupon for Red Rooster would be fine.”

Best gig you’ve ever been to: “We saw Oliver Mann and Grand Salvo play in a church a few months ago. It was beautiful. I cried.”

Venue Or Festival you’d love to play: “Albury Bowls club. Failing that, Fuji Rock.”

The Plug

You can download Magic Hands EP via their Bandcamp.
The Ep features “three additional tracks; a remix by Melbourne electronic musician WORNG (think slow-motion Enya-jamming-with-Billy-Ocean-on-valium), an acoustic “Campfire Mix” version, and a cover of Kylie Minogue’s 2004 banger I Believe in You in which (according to wikipedia) Kylie “does not believe in anything except her lover”. - Tone Deaf


Golden Boy (2013)
Tone (2014)
Limousine (Forthcoming - 2014)

Let Me Hold You While You Fail (Forthcoming - 2014)


Feeling a bit camera shy


In the European winter of 2011, two Australians met in a typically smoky and tiny bar in Germany. They were Alex Badham of experimental pop band aleks and the ramps and lyrical folk songstress Lucy Roleff.

Fast forward to now, and they are Magic Hands, a dream-pop duo inspired by traditional music cultures, modern electronic music and 1970’s psychedelia. Their songs are woozy folk compositions informed by the aesthetic of modern pop music.

Their live show is a sensory experience, with custom video projections and a lo-fi light show to gently melt your mind. Occasionally joined by a live percussionist and extra vocalist, it's a more bombastic experience than on record.

Over the past 12 months they have written and recorded their debut album between a cement basement in inner-city Melbourne, a Berlin apartment and a coastal holiday house in rural Victoria. Somewhere amongst that, they released their first two singles Golden Boy and Tone, with accompanying music videos, before returning to Germany to live and tour for several months.

Magic Hands are currently preparing to release their debut album Let Me Hold You While You Fail and third single Limousine through boutique label Finger Wave Records.    

Band Members