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CD Review: Young Magic's "Still Life" 

(2016, Carpark Records)

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Like music you would imagine emanating from the cool swank of a bar in Rekjavik, the album Still Life is not far off the mark from a fabled, and Icelandic, faerie pop star's ideal. Ironically, the duo Young Magic come from the heat. Indonesian-American vocalist and instrumentalist Melati Malay was born in Jakarta, and her songwriting and producing partner Isaac Emmauel was born in Sydney. Started above a speakeasy in Brooklyn in 2010, their collaboration is otherworldly and effervescent. Electronic dreams from a shrinking globe. Recorded in Tokyo, Java, Bali, New York, and our beloved Catskills (the band are sometime Shokan-istas), Still Life grew from found-sound recordings and stories of Malay's family history on a return trip to Indonesia.

Ethereal, cerebral, and percussive, the music reveals new layers with every listen. The voices are moon-shaped waves floating above swirling currents of guitars and keyboards while speaker-blowing bass rhythms weave in and out of the melodic grooves. Aided in no small measure by multi-instrumentalist, programmer, engineer, and producer Riox, the songs are also cinematic and synesthesiatic, easily meshing as a backdrop to the group's numerous artistic videos. Young Magic just finished up a tour with Yeasayer, and one of their songs, "Default Mem

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  • (2016, Carpark Records)

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