all words: Andy Hess
all photos: Julian Vu
The music of Magic Kids is grounded in Pet Sounds and Phil Spector. It’s pretty obvious when you listen to the band’s debut record Memphis, but the project is more of a homage to the sounds of 60s pop than blatant ripping off.
And unlike their contemporaries Girls, they hold up live. Setting the tone for the night with “Phone,” the Memphis sextet then ran through their album and sent us on our way by 11:30. For a band that’s been around for a little over a year, Magic Kids were tight, capable musicians who play to their strengths. During their set there was little downtime, using all the time allotted to play music. Between songs they would go off on little jam sessions before kicking into the next number.
The songs from Memphis, while missing the horns to give some of them extra heft, were pleasant enough. Highlights included the infectious “Superball,” a keyboard whirlwind that sounds like an ELO b-side, and the duet between Bennet Foster and Alice Buchanan on “Hey Boy” was the stand-out of the night.
Opener Bosco Delray is one man, a guitar and a drum machine. It doesn’t make for the most captivating live show, but some of his ideas stuck to the wall. Delray sounds like a mixture of chillwave and garage rock. His last song of the night was by far the most interesting, but it couldn’t make up for the rest of the lackluster set. Getting up there in front of maybe five people, excluding the six members in Magic Kids, earns some points in my book
Like many others, this was one of the shows interrupted by the events at DC 9. Even though the band was playing to few people in a bigger room, Magic Kids showed that they wouldn’t have any problems commanding the larger space.