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Majical Cloudz – Impersonator

Sophie Ahmed

Triangle

Despite the light-heartedness of their band name, Majical Cloudz want to be taken with anything but a pinch of salt. The most poignant message of their second LP Impersonator is found in the emotive Bugs Don’t Buzz, when frontman Devon Welsh declares that “the cheesiest songs all end with a smile/ this song won’t end with a smile my love.”

In crafting such a profound release, the duo have triumphed in capturing the essence of their live performance. Sonically it echoes their bare black and white aesthetic with a vast sense of space, hypnotic loops and pounding piano chords, but as Welsh boldly admits “I’m a liar/ I say I make music” on the opening title track, we learn that this record is less of a melodic effort than its predecessor and more of an exclusive insight into Welsh’s personal thoughts. Live, he stands at the foreground in complete stillness, backed by a haze of sound created by his partner-in-crime, Matthew Otto, and fixes his gaze on individuals in the crowd as he confesses, “when you go I will worship you”.

There’s something unnerving yet beautiful about experiencing an intimate moment with the man on the stage who you’ve never met before rather than feeling like a mere component of the crowd, and this sensation is replicated for each listener of Impersonator.

During the fittingly-named track I Do Sing For You, Welsh drones in his exquisitely rich voice, “I’m loving you/ I want to”, the concept that he’s loving you seems so genuine, and similarly when he pleads in the elusive Silver Rings to stay with him if you find yourself going nowhere, gripped by every subsequent word. His adaptable singing style is another aspect of this record which captivates, ranging from trembling vulnerability to suit the lyric “I feel like a kid/ I see some monsters standing over my crib/ and they fall in”, to strength in assuring that “love will conquer these feelings” at the top of his range, hinting at the power of fellow Canadian vocalist Win Butler of Arcade Fire.

Collectively Impersonator screams “less is more” with the repetitive Turns Turns Turns and the rippling soundscapes of Illusion, yet finds a perfect balance with the use of looped drum beats on alternate tracks to maintain a variety in tempo and mood. Majical Cloudz are pair of musicians who truly complement each other, with scarceness stressing the importance of lyrical musings on life and death.

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