Dark Horses

November 29, 2008

Imagine my delight late last night, whilst seeking out new music to soothe my savage beast, I discovered a new 4-track ep from Piano Magic, called Dark Horses, had been released. Talk about a pleasant surprise. Almost instantly the thing was on my iPod. I don’t like to fool around when it comes to new stuff from bands like that, whom I adore.

It’s another excellent effort. Glen Johnson has never been afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve and the title track, as well as others on the ep, echo the sparse, resonant doom of Joy Division’s Closer, which is no real surprise. Piano Magic have echoed that source material before on other albums and it’s really no secret that Johnson and company have a dramatic fondness for Factory Records and other alternative/indie music from that era. Hell, so do I. There is also more than a hint of very early New Order in these songs. The entire ep, excepting another gorgeous vocal contribution from Angele David-Guillou (Klima) on the song Vacancies, may as well have been sung by Bernard Sumner himself.

Don’t misunderstand me, however. Piano Magic are far too creative, far too established with their own, ever evolving, always beautiful sound, to ever become overly derivative of their influences. Rather, they embrace those influences with shameless love, absorb the spirit they have to offer and move forward with a distinct vision of their own. It is beautiful music. Haunting music. To a man with a deep adoration for the ghostly sounds of, say, early Cure or eighties 4AD, it resonates directly in both the heart and soul.

So to speak.

Needless to say, highly recommended. As is, while I’m at it, the new Helios release, Caesura. And the Rosebud’s Life Like. All three are currently in heavy rotation here.

Dark Horses is available, amongst other places, from Bookmat in the UK and Darla in the US. Limited to 1000 copies, so don’t hesitate. More info here.


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