Young Magic - Melt

Young Magic borrow influences from all over the place and transform them into a sound they can proudly call their own.

Label: Carpark Records

Rating: 8

Even on consecutive listens ‘Melt’ sounds quite alien but it’s that strangeness which makes Young Magic’s debut so intriguing in the first place. The comprisal of previously released tracks might spark familiarity, whilst immediate comparisons include Yeasayer’s oddball wonk (‘Sliptime’) or MGMT’s psychedelic sprawl (‘Jam Karet’ and ‘You With Air’), but such moments give only tiny glimpses into the LP’s distinctive sound.

Although based in NYC the trio’s sound is never rooted firmly in one spot. Part of this may be due to their multi-cultural make up (two Australians and one Indonesian) and part of it might be because ‘Melt’ was recorded in multiple countries. Whatever the cause, such geographical diversity is clear from ‘Yalam’s claustrophobic, West African rhythms, ‘Watch For Our Light’s’ Oriental clacks (like stones skipping across water) or Isaac Emmanuel’s rap during ‘The Dancer’s eccentric witch song.

As that track ends, you’re unwittingly introduced to the soaring ‘Cavalry.’ Part tribal ceremony and part techno rave, it’s a testament to how well put together ‘Melt’ is because despite its assortment of influences, it is nothing short of coherent. The ethereal and minimal smokescreen of opener ‘Sparkly’ gels into the eventfulness of the aforementioned ‘Sliptime’ without a struggle. Further on, the explanatory ‘Night In The Ocean’ soaks Emmanuel’s rap and Melati Malays’s gasps under the most gorgeous, hipster friendly, M83 shoegaze without any hint of discomfort.

Finally, closing track ‘Drawing Down The Moon’ mixes ambient dub-step with the pre-mentioned ethnic influences. It’s a modest closer to an album where other artists’ styles are used plenty but not to the extent of needlessly showing off. Young Magic borrow influences from all over the place and transform them into a sound they can proudly call their own.