Magic Man’s debut album, Before the Waves, provides the seemingly perfect addition to any summer soundtrack. Released on July 8 on Columbia Records, this debut has solid electric beats combined with breezy vocals and fun synthesizer melodies and it seems to give the sound of the season. The Boston native Magic Man consists of Alex Caplow on vocals, Sam Vanderhoop Lee on guitars and keyboards, Justine Bowe on keyboard and Joey Sulkowski on drums. Produced by Alex Aldi, who has also worked with bands such as Passion Pit, there is no doubt that influences from these bands drifted onto Before the Waves.
The vocals on this album are memorable as Caplow sings about not wanting to give up on something quite yet and of course, love. With upbeat backing vocals, Before the Waves has a cheerful mood to it progresses through its twelve tracks. In the song, “Every Day,” Caplow seems to share a similar vocal aesthetic with Danielle Haim from Haim in the sense that in this track, both have a similar staccato way of singing.
The synth-driven melodies throughout Before the Waves sets the mood and tone of every song on the album, whether or not it is obvious. Although this type of melodies can tend to become generic over time, Magic Man has a unique twist in their sound that sets them apart from other synthpop bands such as MGMT and Passion Pit. Blending interesting guitar riffs (often times more subtle than the synthesizer) and energetic synthesizer melodies and rhythms.
Before the Waves shows that Magic Man is an essential on any playlist this summer. Before going on tour this summer with Walk the Moon and Panic! at the Disco, Magic Man are on their own west coast tour this week. Magic Man, with their catchy synth-driven music, are definitely not a new band to miss this year.