Young Magic may come across as a typically current Brooklyn-based band, with obvious hints at the likes of Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear, but the reality is that their palate of wide influences has been gained from their travels and upbringing, as opposed to merely being picked up from hanging out with hipster friends in Williamsburg or wherever.
Two of Young Magic are Australian, one is Indonesian, and this album has been collected from recordings made in several different countries over the past few years. It isn't the greatest debut album that you will hear in 2012 but, given that it is assembled from earlier singles and their B-sides, it does sit together as quite a coherent whole.
Part of this cohesion comes about because the previous releases are linked by shorter new pieces which work very well. The familiar tracks are my favourites though and it begins with my personal highlight, 'Sparkly', a laidback psychedelic drift built around a simple melody overlaid with harmony vocals and clattering, rattling percussion.
That similar percussive drive is there on 'You With Air' which manages to make tribal chants and hip-hop/ dubstep phrasing work together. 'Night on the Ocean' is the centre-piece of the album, it is a dreamy melody with subtle stuttering beats and an overwhelming wash of fuzz guitars. 'The Dancer' is another highlight, with an eerie disjointed beat and vocal delivery somewhat reminiscent of Salem. 'Driving Down The Moon' is the most consciously dub-step track here and it again highlights that contrast between the skittish beats and the steady psych-drift that makes their music so intriguing.
As I said earlier, this isn't an album of the year, but in terms of having interesting new music packed within it, it is definitely worth investigating. Ones to watch? Very definitely.
Jim White - Where It Hits You
Windy and Carl - We Will Always Be