Stream Black Twig’s Was Not Looking for Magic LP
The last few months, I’ve personally been hyping the new LP from Finland’s Black Twig, Was Not Looking for Magic. Below…I give you an early stream, as well as my track by track breakdown. If you’re interested in picking up the album, it’s out this Friday via our friends over at Soliti, and I promise you, its got my stamp of approval! Leaving the stream at the top as that’s what’s most important, but my track by track breakdown lives below!
I Was Not Looking for Magic – As soon as I heard this tune, I knew that something special was in the air. This song introduces a new-ish sound, for the band, kind of hanging on that sort of pre-indiepop style, offering cool indifference and shades of swagger, but with enough musicianship that it wouldn’t find itself out of place on a Felt playlist.
Outdoor Blues – Just wait patiently until you hit the 49 second mark; it’s a subtle little twist in the song, offering a slightly different blend of pop, but it was one of those moments that stuck in my head even when this song was over. My first listen through, I think this was the moment that I officially feel in love with the record. It’s also the first time that I noticed that the guitar work was more than what I heard on the surface, so start pain attention!
Devils Please Be Gone – This reminds me of one of my favorite US acts, The Black Watch. It feels so heavy with those riffs, but the vocal delivery has this pillowy softness throughout; this has the perfect balance I’d be seeking if I were a writer of songs…varying shades of juxtaposition. At this point, the band are 3 for 3.
Walking Up a Hill – This was the first shift in musical approaches within the confines of Was Not Looking for Magic. You’ll find the band featuring a more thunderous percussive element, allowing the song to have a lot more space; the guitars seem to take a lot of liberty, and the vocals seem more exploratory…here they’re flirting with bits of psychedelia, linking the record back to some of their earlier work.
Puuhastelu – I like a bit of thoughtfulness in the complete listening experience, and this instrumental is like a nice little cleanser. It closes out Side A, allowing you to erase the moments and listen to Side B with fresh ears.
Moon Song – As much as I admittedly enjoyed the LP up until this point, it was here that several listens revealed just how great the band’s work is. There’s these little brushstrokes that coat the entire LP, and they all seem to be present, whether its the heavy post-punk brooding, the pastoral psychedelia or even the moments where they just toy with noise; its all present here, yet strung together cohesively…a song for musical journeys.
Typical Winters Day – If you’ve listened through track by track, the front half of this song feels utterly familiar; its the core of the record, presented to you in a slightly different fashion. There’s a noisy jaunt in the middle, again popping up to guarantee that the album’s filled with numerous textures.
Animal Drawing – I initially felt like this tune was an outlier; it has a different, almost more angular appeal in the guitar work, which I think threw me for a moment. But, press forward a bit and you can begin to hear the faint buzz of guitars, linking textures, despite pushing the band forward into some slightly more traditional indie rock regions. I mean, this is just solid guitar work.
Big Cat – This is my favorite track, at least at the moment. I feel like a wizard of sorts listening through it; it has that sort of magical feel to it, all the way down to the lyrical content. I love how the brooding makes way for this flow of dropping pastoral pop, chiming guitars ringing out and matching the huge melodic moments. There’s also something fatherly/motherly here, something about it feels like a welcome pop lecture.
You Never Were Mine – Of all the tunes, this one seems the most fitting to wrap the entirety of the album up and put a bow on top. It’s got the driving energy from both the guitar work and the rhythm section, pushing the pace faster than the previous nine tunes. Still, there’s that swagger that seems to rock through the whole of the record, that assuredness that charms an eager listener. Even still, as much as it can be heard as a simple indie rock jam, the band still manage to pack it full of little odds and ends.
Final Thoughts – Seven of the ten tracks on Was Not Looking for Magic all draw from similar territory. And, while that can be cumbersome on repeat, the band offer three tracks (5, 8, and 10) which are able to break up the monotony. And in doing so, they give the album a bit of a firm freshness, allowing the song’s to sort of meld together into a great collection of well written guitar pop tunes. I mentioned Felt, and I do think there are some similarities, particularly in the way that both bands manage to craft delicate guitar work and pop accessibility into cohesive listens. I promise you, if that’s anywhere up your alley, come back for those repeat listens.