Magic Fig

While rooted in the depths of the West Coat indie pop pool, the debut record from Magic Fig sounds like it catapulted out of the Canterbury collective mind in the late ‘60s. The band, featuring members of The Umbrellas, Whitney’s Playland, Almond Joy, and Healing Potpourri, shrug off their indie aspirations and turn their jangles towards prog and psych, though they keep it beating with a pop heart. Atop the liquid light of their prog-pop, the vocals of Inna Showalter (Blades of Joy, Whitney’s Playland) are as captivating as ever. Just as easily as she captures the heart of gazed and glazed indie pop, Showalter is able to inhabit this particular dream with velvet hues and a far off stare.

The band create a captivating backdrop as well, never leaning into pastiche, but channeling the exploratory spirit of their influences. With organ swells and tangles of guitar, the band slips through the quicksilver looking glass, creating an album that’s perfumed and potent. They let the fog rise on “Distant Dream” ride rhythms as they chase the tail through ‘90s psych-pop on “Labyrinth,” and find pastoral joy over the second half of the record. It’s a short, but certainly sweet, romp for the band and a refreshingly earnest dive into sounds that don’t always snag the music press’ nostalgia radar. File it lovingly next to copies of Stella Kola’s indispensable debut and a stack of Upupayāma records. Here’s hoping this isn’t a one off and the band continues to dive deeper into the thicket in the years to come.

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