We Love Music: Here We Go Magic

HWGM Photo Courtesy of Tell All Your Friends

It takes two words to describe Here We Go Magic – an experience.

The second their melodies creep into your ear, a musical journey begins and there’s no stopping it until you’ve arrived at the final destination. Their sound is a lot like the freaky tunnel scene in the original Willy Wonka movie. You don’t know where you’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 Temple’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 haven’t studied music in a classroom setting, you might have never heard of before. It’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 that’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 Eyes’ Conor Oberst, the sound started to feel thin without a backing band. Enter Michael Bloch, Peter Hale, Kristina Lieberson and Jennifer Turner .

Band member Bloch was Temple’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.

“Luke made most of the first record on his own,” Bloch said. “It’s something in its own right. But this new recording … we all made together … living in a house together … committing to it together. This is ours.”

There are remnants of a whole bunch of bands when listening to HWGM. The BeatlesRadiohead, 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 isn’t Temple’s bedroom experiment anymore. It’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-incarnated version of the record full of improv and spontaneity,” he said. “We jam out, play loud, it’s a big sound.”

If this isn’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? “There’s a really honest energy in DC somehow. It’s a frontier place. The last real stop in the SE corridor of the country before moving south. Real warm and friendly.”

I’d say he nailed us right on, wouldn’t you?

HWGM kick-off their spring tour to promote their self-produced sophomore release Pigeons Saturday at 8 pm in the rockin’ hollows of DC’s own Rock & Roll Hotel.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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3 thoughts on “We Love Music: Here We Go Magic

  1. Secretly Canadian is the name of their record label (the label is out of Bloomington, Indiana). I think the name of their second album is “Pigeons”.