L.A. duo Magic Wands might get their mail in Los Angeles, but their hearts lie over the ocean, home to sonic bedfellows like My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins. It’s been 10 years since Chris and Dexy Valentine first released the single that put them on the map, the dizzy dream-pop gem “Black Magic,” a song that eventually anchored their 2012 full-length “Aloha Moon.” Magic Wands became an on-again, off-again project until they returned in 2016 with the full-length “Jupiter,” an album that saw the band embrace a denser, straight-ahead shoegaze sound rather than the synth-and-reverb swirl of their earlier work.
Magic Wands’ newest handful of sonic pixie dust is “Abrakadabra,” which came out this week. The album, made with Phil Galloni at Voltiv Studios, finds a middle ground between the first two; Dexy’s vocals are too buried in haze to yield anything as immediately catchy as that long-ago single, but out of the seemingly amorphous songs emerges an intoxicating wizardry. Among the highlights: “Loveline” originally was released as a single last year; “Realms” and “DNA” will give you a peek at what the duo are seeing from behind their sunglasses. It might be a world, as they suggest in “Realms,” that’s made of stars.
||| Stream: “DNA” and “Realms”
||| Live: Magic Wands play Dum Dum Zine’s L.A. Zine Week kickoff party on Sunday night at the Hi Hat, along with Taleen Kali, Cheekface, Dimber and special guest Alice Bag. Tickets.
||| Also: Stream the whole album via Spotify