Are You Alone?
“There’s one thing I’ll do if it ever goes wrong/I’ll write you into all of my songs” confesses Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh on “Downtown”, one of the highlight tracks on the group’s latest full-length record Are You Alone?. It’s a completely self-aware moment and representative of the singer’s constant self-analysis – throughout the entire disc, he dissects relationships, conflicts, and personal crises in what could be the act’s most intimate output to date. It’s all buoyed by the extremely minimalist textures and soundscapes provided by collaborator Matthew Otto. The production is practically a white canvas and is so sparse that it makes James Blake seem excessive by comparison. That’s not to say there isn’t an accessible slant – the time spent opening for Lorde on tour might have influenced the duo into penning some genuine hooks, and the reports that the band scrapped an entire album’s worth of songs only points to the level of careful consideration put into it. We’re not alone in thinking that it’s an unexpected triumph of a disc. Look for it to make waves come award time.
Don’t miss Majical Cloudz’ unflinching live performance – they’ll play Montreal on October 23 at Phi Centre, Toronto on January 15 at the Garrison, and Vancouver on January 22 at the Cobalt.