Moore Music – Magdalena Bay’s “Mercurial World”
In these darkening days of Northern November it can be hard to feel uplifted, to feel energized or even excited about things. However, this is an ailment that the discovery of a great new band can easily cure, at least for a little bit. Today the remedy is a spoonful of pop duo Magdalena Bay, and their new album called Mercurial World.
Named for an area of Baja California, the band originally hails from Miami and is made up of Mica Tenenbum on vocals and Matthew Lewin. Now upon first listen the whispery, raspy style of Tanenbaum’s singing and chaotic layering of so many electronic tones reminds me a lot of the work of Grimes. And there are some moments late on this record that really do sound A LOT like her. But the deeper you dive into it, its easy to that more than anything, Magdelena Bay builds off the groundwork she laid more than play copycat. It’s a dozen times more poppy and peppy, with a with a musical toybox overflowing of computery goodness. There’s so much ornamentation from Lewin really cranking the EQ filters to their maximums, to shimmering, glittery synth fills and lots of bright and nostalgic sounding 8-bit chip tune elements – like I’m pretty sure the jump noise from Sonic the Hedgehog is used as a drum on one song. But that’s TOTALLY the vibe of the band especially visually
Magdelena Bay has risen to prominence not just through great music but through their memorable music videos that have gone viral online especially on Tik Tok. They features both members of the band in front of a green screen seemingly lost in a goofy cyber-fantasy world of pre-Facebook internet browsing. Bright 90s colors full of riffs on AOL and Myspace and all the low quality gifs you can handle. It’s good to know these two don’t take themselves to seriously at all. Definitely worth checking out, I only wish I could show you them over the radio
Back to the music, the flow on this album is unbelievable from track to track. Not even just in a way that makes you marvel and how well the songs meld together but in a way that makes you excited in anticipating what the next track could possibly bring. Because it could literally be ANYTHING. The song “Hysterical Us” goes from having some sweeping soundscapes that even make you think of a Hans Zimmer soundtrack to a disco-tacular danceable second half. And that’s something totally their own that Magdalena Bay brings to the table, the infusion of neo-disco beats and even smooth electro R&B grooves. It’s THESE songs that put Mercurial World over the top and keep the album pumping – especially on the focus track Secrets which like the album as a whole, is a gem.