Swiss Magic

Over the last few weeks, Peter from Schallgrenzen as well as Peter from Coast Is Clear have introduced you to Swiss bands. It’s kind of a shame that I often need to be reminded by “foreigners” that there are some good bands around in my home-country. But then it reminds me that I should take a closer look at the scene here more often…

So today, it’s my turn to present a Swiss band to you. I’ve only discovered them lately, and that’s not something to be proud of really, as the Magicrays have been making music since 1989! They have released 4 albums and various EPs and maxi-singles since then, but I haven’t found one single entry in Switzerland’s Charts Archive. While this might not be a sign of quality anyway, it shows that the wider audience here hasn’t heard of the band either. A fact that could be changed with Magicrays‘ latest offering, Off The Wall. We all know that in a perfect world, music like this would be heard all over, but we also know there’s no such thing as a perfect world. So all I can do is spread the word and bring us a little step closer to perfect…

Off The Wall is a blend of melancholic indie-pop and catchy rock-songs. For the second time, Magicrays have been working with producer John Parish (P.J. Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse), and they have chosen to record the album in Bristol, by the sea. The album sounds very international and radio-friendly, but the subtle songwriting and beautiful instrumentation keeps the songs from being average. There’s a lot of variety to keep the indie-fan happy, but also enough immediate catchiness to attract the average listener. The album creates a tight atmosphere, and the haunting and passionate voice of singer Raphaël adds a lot to the intimate and melancholic mood.

With spring showing itself from its best side at the moment, the sound of Magicrays might seem in the wrong place. A lot of the songs would probably be better off in those dark autumn days. But then… I’m sure they’ll also work on your occasional stroll through a fresh forest after a thunderstorm, or for some moments at sunset by a clear river. I guess it doesn’t matter where you listen to the music of Magicrays… just make sure you do!

The albums are available at Gentlemen Records (worldwide delivery), some of them also on iTunes or Amazon. Visit the band’s MySpace and MX3-profiles for more sound goodies.

Magicrays – 9:21

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