MAJICAL CLOUDZ

Pasatiempo - - PASA TEMPOS -

Are You Alone? (Mata­dor) Thanks to a re­cent gig open­ing for Lorde, Majical Cloudz has quickly built up a global au­di­ence re­cep­tive to its deeply in­tro­spec­tive brand of elec­tro-pop. On stage, the duo of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto can tend to be so emo­tive that their house con­certs in Mon­treal are known for their sob­bing au­di­ence mem­bers, a re­ac­tion even the most ar­dent of emo bands rarely coaxes out of fans. On disc, the ex­pe­ri­ence of these soar­ing com­po­si­tions is a lot like lis­ten­ing to Sigur Rós, ethe­real post-rock with­out the ex­otic patina of hear­ing songs in an Ice­landic pseudo-lan­guage. Welsh’s voice ini­tially sounds unim­pres­sive, a bari­tone so dron­ing that it verges on mono­tone. But he nonethe­less cre­ates com­pelling vo­cals through his com­plete lack of emo­tional fil­ters. On a song like “Sil­ver Car Crash,” he de­liv­ers a bad high-school po­etry lyric — “I want to kiss you in a car that’s crash­ing/So that we can both die laugh­ing” — with all the pas­sion of a first-time lovesick teenager. “So Blue,” a ten­der bal­lad made of drum sam­ples and elec­tric or­gan licks, is built around a re­frain that could well serve as an an­them for this band, which wears its heart on its sleeve: “You got to learn to love me/Be­cause I am what I am.” — Casey Sanchez

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