Opening up with a sparse and atmospheric indie pop soundscape, Dublin quartet Magazines are a group well-suited to the current landscape of bedroom orchestrated alternative rock. Citing Wolf Alice as a major influence, the DIY brushstrokes of the band's newest single 'Moonlight' represents a compelling introduction to a group on the rise, fusing multiple influences together into an already impressive output of high quality singles.
For a young band, this new release is demonstrative of a particularly introspective lyrical creativity. Softly whispered, this is a track with more than a few literary gems to glean from its four minute run time, with lines like
"Demand your shadow be tangled up in mine"
evidence that this is not a band content with throwing out cliché catch-all phrases as a crutch for their choruses. Instead, there is genuine effort and imagination on show with Magazines' newest effort, and it is certainly refreshing to have genuinely imaginative songwriting to get engrossed with right now.
Unfortunately however, any appreciation of this song's compelling lyrical craft will require access to a lyric sheet. Partly a by-product of the DIY nature of the recording process behind 'Moonlight', the vocals of this track are at best difficult to understand, and at worst are unintelligible. The decision to load the lead vocals with a very liberal application of reverb, while stylistically consistent with a band like Wolf Alice, doesn't necessarily suit the exceptional tone of Magazines' lead vocalist. Compared to the band's previous singles, 'Wet and Wild' and 'Tough' (which we highly recommend) the vocal production on 'Moonlight' makes it very difficult to hear what is being said for most of the tune.
It is potentially harsh to criticise that aspect of the music, as despite some grievances with the effects-heavy vocal production of the track this is a really interesting demonstration of Magazines' versatility as a band. The chord progression is interestingly constructed, with subtle chord changes twisting behind a crisp drum performance, and as the backing vocals enter the mix the track picks up a great deal of scale. This is a totally different sound when compared to those previous single releases, and the sheer difference in the style of all of Magazines' three tunes suggests that whatever is to come next from the Irish group should be hotly anticipated.
'Moonlight' is a good song, and any criticisms of the track should be indicative that this is a band that is capable of real growth. With three tunes out on major platforms, Magazines are an Irish chameleon of a band capable of excelling in a great number of disparate genres, and this newest track is evidence that the group will provide nothing but interesting stylistic directions in the future. Find Magazines on instagram and listen to their newest single here.
Ben Wheadon is editor and founder of Slow Motion Panic Masters. He is a Welsh musician and English Literature student at King's College, London and he should be writing a dissertation instead of creating a blog.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.