There’s been a fair bit of quirkiness emerging from New York City recently, and Here We Go Magic clearly also feel the need to be different, to produce something oblique and unconventional. There are good and bad ways of achieving that aim, though. All shuffling beats and abstract backdrops, opener ‘Hibernation’ is dangerously close to improvised jazz levels of self-indulgence, while the wibbling drivel that is ‘Old World United’ seems almost endless. When the band do forget their preeningly self-conscious otherness, things improve dramatically – ‘Land Of Feeling’ is a wide, reflective soundscape, and a high point of the record. Yet the point of music is surely to engage, reflect or induce in us a range of emotions – and for the most part, like a more irritating Vampire Weekend, ‘Pigeons’ either induces frustration, indifference, or both.

By Chris Watkeys

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