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Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Improper Bostonian"

Magic and witches may go together, but Magic Magic isn’t from Salem—despite press reports that say so. “That’sbeen a long-shrouded mystery,” says guitarist Brendan Hughes, who suggests the mistake was perpetuated after a London Times review cited Salem before home fans even knew the band. “Are we spooky?”

If not spooky, the Dedham group’s music is certainly haunting. It suggests the influence of the Jeff Buckley Band, as much for the quintet’s textural dynamics (undercut by two drummers) as for singer/guitarist John Murphy’s tempered yet charismatic lead.

“We like loud stuff that can also quiet down,” Hughes says. “It’s definitely more aggressive live. I’ve always liked when bands have very distinct recording sounds, and when you see them live, it’s not always clean and nice-sounding, but intense.”

The four-year-old group nails both ends of the spectrum, even though Murphy, bassist Nick Serra, and drummers Mike Hlady and Dylan Gough only recently passed the drinking age. Magic Magic has also grown prolific, recently pressing two new records to follow its 2008 debut. One was made at a Chelsea studio, the other banged out in the band’s Norwood rehearsal space. Both convey a mature, atmospheric spell that’s hard to pigeonhole.

U.K. management had helped Magic Magic land early gigs overseas, but Hughes says it’s harder to tour the U.S. without a record label. “It was almost like we traveled to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to get some attention over here, which is funny,” he says. “For the most part, it’s been do-it-yourself.” - Improper Bostonian

"London Times - Album of the Week: Magic Magic LP"

How exciting it is to come across an album about which you know nothing, by a band you’ve never heard of, trailing no distracting hype whatsoever, and discover that it is wonderful. From Salem, Massachusetts, Magic Magic are led by John Francis Murphy, whose high, jaded tenor lends songs such as Jellyfish and Tahiti a genuinely sinister air. His lyrics are strange, too. The opening track, Over Your Heart, seems to be about totalitarianism and individualism, both of the emotional and the governmental type, yet, musically, its bold and stirring major-chord sweeps offer a powerful, almost pastoral contrast. Jellyfish, notionally about the sea creature’s attempts to take on human form, but also, again, about conformity v distinctiveness, is similarly conflicted. The band can be appealingly casual.

As Sleepy Lion hurtles towards its climax, an accordion suddenly enters the mix, and you think: “They’re really going to lay it on here.” But they don’t; the song ends seconds later, brutally, with the snap of a snare. The band’s twin-drummer attack pays richest dividends on Savage, in which percussive explosions sit alongside moments of barbershop-like harmonising. If you’re looking for comparisons, you might cite Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, the Spinto Band and the like. Really, though, Magic Magic are their own band. And what a band — and what a discovery.

- London Times

"Best New Band in Massachusetts"

WHY THEM? In our biz, it’s downright energizing to learn of bands by simple word of mouth, as opposed to by a multi-platform blitzkrieg of publicists. Such was the case with Magic Magic, who rep Boston via Salem rather brilliantly on their self-titled debut. That’s “brilliantly,” because the bulk of their fans (thanks to an arrangement with Rough Trade's retail outlets) are in the UK, where they are a few back-alley candids away from being full-on darlings in the music press. Understandably so, as their deft blend of woozy textures, twinkling guitars, lilting vocals, choral lapses, tasteful percussive clamber (courtesy of two drummers), and sheer variety of styles are all well-tempered by a pop approachability that’s far too rare and oh-so refreshing.

BONUS BIT! The “Magic Magic Expanded Universe” at is rich with all sorts of vaguely band-related multimedia bric-a-brac. Highly recommended: the surrealist laffs packed into each of their “video novels."
- Boston Pheonix

"NME CD Review"

Album review:
The spookiest thing about Magic Magic isn't that they're from Salem, international home of witches. Nor is it that they've got two drummers, however hydra-headed that always looks. It's that they've performed the musical equivalent of walking through walls by sneaking out an album of this much ambition while remaining virtually unknown outside their hometown. Their bold orchestral pop is capable of twisting from banjo langour to choral euphoria to Fender-bending aggression. Forget the lazy Arcade Fire comparisons: they share more with the echo-bedecked pomp of The Concretes, and the hi-fi adventures of The Shins, occasionally kicking off like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with guitars. Don't believe the lack of hype.

Gavin Haynes

More on this artist:
Magic Magic NME Artist Page
Magic Magic MySpace

8 out of 10 - NME


- "Magic Magic LP" is the band's debut album. It is available on iTunes and from our myspace. It is also available physically from us, and Rough Trade Shops UK.

- "sleepy lion" 7'' single (also found at Rough Trade) was released by Chess Club Records in the UK and has received radio airplay on BBC 1 and BBC 6

- "Whatever Happened to Monday Nights?" EP/LP (released November 2010)

- Magic Magic LP2" (2011, unreleased)

-"TV Life" LP - (2011, unreleased)



Magic Magic has been playing shows and writing music in the Northeast area of the United States for the past 4 years, primarily in New York and mostly Boston (where they are based out of). The band's first full length LP was highly regarded overseas in the UK by Rough Trade, as well as receiving the honor of "Album of the Week" in the Sunday edition of the London Times newspaper last December, the first time an unsigned band has ever received this honor.The Boston Phoenix named Magic Magic "Best New Band in Massachusetts" during their July 4th special edition of "50 Bands of 50 States" and have received cover articles from NE Performer Magazine. They have played in the UK, doing a BBC1 in-studio session at Maida Vale studios for Rob Da Bank, a BBC6 live on-air studio set in Manchester, and a sold out show for their Sleepy Lion UK single-release at The Social Club in London. Solid Internet buzz has been garnered on blogs and playlists, with medium to heavy rotation on college radio station nation wide. In Boston, Magic Magic have been the primary support for national touring bands including Passion Pit and Harvey Danger, and recently played the opening slot of the inaugural Nateva Festival that took place in Oxford, Maine on the 4th of July 2010

Recently, in the summer of 2010 the band finished recording two separate new albums and are hopeful that they will be able to officially release them both with the help of a record label in the near future. A third full length LP of new material, entitled "TV Life", is currently in production as of February 2011 and is to be released sometime later this year.