It takes two words to describe Here We Go Magic â€“ an experience.
The second their melodies creep into your ear, a musical journey begins and thereâ€™s no stopping it until youâ€™ve arrived at the final destination. Their sound is a lot likeÂ the freaky tunnel scene in the original Willy Wonka movie.Â You donâ€™t know where youâ€™re going until you get there.
Where do they take you? A layered, hypnotic trance of swirling nirvana featuring an acoustic guitar pulse paired with Luke Templeâ€™s high-pitched voice. Sound’s confusing, doesn’t it? Here’s a suggestion: don’t get bogged down in the details. Just listen.
They achieve this effect by utilizing a tool in modern rock that if you havenâ€™t studied music in a classroom setting, you might have never heard of before. Itâ€™s called “the wall of sound”. Phil Spector (yes, that dude with the crazy fro wig who was on trial and convicted of murder, but thatâ€™s besides the point) created it in the 1960′s. The wall of sound is simple: it’s a dense, layered, and reverberant sound produced by using standard band instrumentation to keep a constant rhythmic pattern, creating a “wall” of sound. Here We Go Magic have taken that wall of sound and made it their own.
Two years ago, Luke Temple found himself in his New York bedroom recording tracks. And, much like a Bright Eyesâ€™ Conor Oberst, the sound started to feel thin without a backing band. Enter Michael Bloch, Peter Hale, Kristina Lieberson and Jennifer TurnerÂ .
Band member Bloch was Templeâ€™s roommates at the time and remembers listening to the original recordings. Bloch had left for a few months, but upon his return the whole project evolved into what HWGM is taking on tour this spring.
â€śLuke made most of the first record on his own,â€ť Bloch said. â€śItâ€™s something in its own right. But this new recording â€¦ we all made together â€¦ living in a house together â€¦ committing to it together. This is ours.â€ť
There are remnants of a whole bunch of bands when listening to HWGM. The Beatles,Â Radiohead, Elliot Smith and The Shins all have tracks that could be in someway compared to what HWGM has created. It’s how they play that music that differs.
The group effort is what makes the band a success. HWGM isnâ€™t Templeâ€™s bedroom experiment anymore. Itâ€™s a musical collaboration unlike anything heard in the modern mainstream scene.
When asked how he would describe HWGM’s sound, Bloch responded with a “hmmmm….” and a “How WOULD I describe it?” The clearest description that we could both agree on is that their live show says it all. “The live show is a re-incarnatedÂ version of the record full of improv and spontaneity,” he said. “We jam out, play loud, it’s a big sound.”
If this isnâ€™t enough to make you go see them live and experience HWGM for yourself this weekend, then how about this: Bloch tells me that they LOVE playing shows in the District. Why? â€śThereâ€™s a really honest energy in DC somehow. Itâ€™s a frontier place. The last real stop in the SE corridor of the country before moving south. Real warm and friendly.â€ť
Iâ€™d say he nailed us right on, wouldn’t you?