Out June 11 on Royal Oakie Records, ‘Magic Mind’ is the magnum opus of the San Francisco band led by Alexi Glickman. The title track is a laid back psychedelic breeze, with a sound reminiscent of Brian Wilson, and the later tracks of The Beatles.
Embracing the sound of those epic surf films of the 60s and 70s (‘The Endless Summer’ springs to mind instantly), Glickman and his crew make good use of echoing guitar, and colourful synths, paired with airy vocals that nevertheless fill a room with an atmosphere of sun, sand, and surf. Close your eyes and you can almost feel the waves lapping against your calves.
‘Magic Mind’ follows on from the much loved ‘Chime’, of 2018, which was recorded in a seaside cabin. It was Alexi’s vision to record an album that would give the listener a glimpse into an alternative world; and it works. Fingers slipping on the fretboard, and staticky reverb could easily have been edited out in post, but instead they’ve been left in to give the song a rawness and realness that adds to the lo-fi feel of the track. It’s testament to the talent of both the band and that of studio master David Glasebrook (of Royal Oakie Records).
‘Magic Minds’ is a loose concept album, following a couple – Sami and Sandy, who were introduced in the lead single – through a mystical realm, whereupon they meet beings both benevolent and violent, wanting to alternately teach, and tear them apart. Their love and shared dreams however are the ties that bind them, as they manoeuvre their way through their journey.
The title single is a celebration of both the brilliance, and the strife that goes along with the complex minds in Sandy’s creative family. They’re a moveable feast with Alexi Glickman as the centrepoint. Even 8 and a half minutes long it’s very easy, and indeed quite compelling, to listen to over and over. ‘Magic Mind’ is divided in 3 parts. The first is laid back, with a very John/Julian Lennon vibe. The second, which starts at around the 4:30 mark, sees a guitar build up (anyone else feeling Tommy Emmanuel here?) that prepares the way for the third segment, with its guitars and cymbals crescendo at about 6 and a half minutes.
It would be easy to dismiss ‘Magic Mind’ as stunning; but it goes far further than that. It’s a song that transcends the word and leaves you wanting more, more, more. Thankfully, with the rest of the album out on June 11, we won’t have to wait very long.