It’s been almost four years since Magic Wands released “Aloha Moon,” a polychromatic piece of popgazing that found a winning balance between synth-laced dream-pop and guitar lushness. For the follow-up, “Jupiter” (out today via Cleopatra Records), the duo of Chris and Dexy Valentine have dropped the electronics in favor swirling, cascading and sweeping guitars with post-punk accelerants. In other words, a straight-up shoegaze record. At its most propulsive, it’s all very much The Chris & Dexy Chain, bringing to mind other genre luminaries like Pale Saints and Asobi Seksu; at its most languid, there is the detached melancholy reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins. Fans of the last album’s big single “Black Magic” won’t find anything that confectionery on “Jupiter.” But “Dream Street” will give you “Fascination” flashbacks; “Lazer Bitch” throbs with a somehow catchy causticity; “Heartbeat” bends notes all the way back to 1994. The ambient, 13-minute album closer “Jupiter II” reflects Chris Valentine’s recent explorations sound healing — it was during his hiatus that Dexy reassembled her old band Bonfire Beach for a 2014 album. “Jupiter” was made during a three-day session with Vega Schenk on bass and Charlie Woodburn on drums (Magic Wands’ live lineup now features Tommy Alexander on bass and Keith Crutchfield on drums). File under reverent to the genre.
||| Stream: “Love Soldier” or the whole album (via Spotify) at the bottom
||| Live: Magic Wands will celebrate their album release as part of Dance in a Panic on March 11 at the Regent Theater — a night featuring Together Pangea, Gateway Drugs, Drinking Flowers, KAV and a host of DJ sets. Tickets.