15 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Magic Wands’ 2012 debut album, Aloha Moon, is further proof that not everything from Nashville is twangy. A match made in music, Chris and Dexy Valentine met back in the days of MySpace, when Chris discovered some of Dexy’s music online. They began a long-distance courtship, which found Dexy moving from Los Angeles to Nashville and marrying Chris; then they formed Magic Wands. The opening title track is a refreshing sonic cocktail that blends vintage drum machine beats, icy synthesizers, and beach-friendly guitars. Over this, Dexy coos wistful inflections alongside Chris’ whispered singing, creating hushed harmonies reminiscent of early-'90s shoegazing. “Teenage Love” backpedals a decade to create a neon love song that blends Blondie’s cover of John Holt’s “The Tide Is High” with Pleasure Victim–era Berlin. As the title suggests, “Kaleidoscope Hearts” pumps Magic Wands’ nouveau-wave sound through a psychedelic filter where guitars jangle, swirl, and distort with comforting, womblike warmth. The standout jam “Space” pulses and pops with a retro-futuristic flair.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Magic Wands’ 2012 debut album, Aloha Moon, is further proof that not everything from Nashville is twangy. A match made in music, Chris and Dexy Valentine met back in the days of MySpace, when Chris discovered some of Dexy’s music online. They began a long-distance courtship, which found Dexy moving from Los Angeles to Nashville and marrying Chris; then they formed Magic Wands. The opening title track is a refreshing sonic cocktail that blends vintage drum machine beats, icy synthesizers, and beach-friendly guitars. Over this, Dexy coos wistful inflections alongside Chris’ whispered singing, creating hushed harmonies reminiscent of early-'90s shoegazing. “Teenage Love” backpedals a decade to create a neon love song that blends Blondie’s cover of John Holt’s “The Tide Is High” with Pleasure Victim–era Berlin. As the title suggests, “Kaleidoscope Hearts” pumps Magic Wands’ nouveau-wave sound through a psychedelic filter where guitars jangle, swirl, and distort with comforting, womblike warmth. The standout jam “Space” pulses and pops with a retro-futuristic flair.

TITLE TIME
3:37
3:32
3:38
3:47
3:14
2:33
3:39
3:03
3:26
4:15
2:55
3:11
4:16
2:37
3:48

About Magic Wands

Dream pop duo Magic Wands formed in Nashville as a collaboration between Dexy and Chris Valentine. After managing a long-distance relationship, Dexy eventually relocated from Los Angeles to join Chris in Nashville where the band initially took shape with the release of their Blondie-esque debut single "Teenage Love" in 2008. During their cross-country courting period, an actual magic wand was gifted through the mail inspiring the band's name. That same year, the two song Black Magic/Kaleidoscope Hearts single was released on London indie Ark Recordings. The band eventually struck a deal in the U.S. with California label Bright Antenna who released their Magic Love & Dreams EP in 2009. The following year their track "Warrior" was remixed by British indie pop group the xx and soon Magic Wands had relocated back to the West Coast, settlind down in Los Angeles. Their debut album, Aloha Moon, finally arrived in 2012 to considerable acclaim, raising their profile and landing them opening slots for acts like the Black Keys, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Kills. Expanding their lineup to include a live rhythm section, Magic Wands returned in early 2016 with their sophomore LP, Jupiter. ~ Timothy Monger

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