Majical Cloudz Impersonator on LP
With rich vocals atop quiet looped waves of white noise, filtered synths and sparse thuds, Montreal songwriter Devon Welsh aka Majical Cloudz, is one of 2013’s most unique and essential new voices. His 2012 Turns Turns Turns EP, an audacious distillation of Welsh’s ideas that brought his vocals to the fore. “Musically, I wanted to try saying ‘no’ to possibilities, and create negative space in the songs,” he says. “To put the emphasis on the voice and lyrics.”
Impersonator brings Welsh’s songs into even sharper focus; its expressive power and swagger belie the extremely minimal music. These are intensely lyrical songs about death, patience, family, friendship, and desire. Welsh cites Elliott Smith and Arthur Russell as the two biggest influences on his songwriting.
While Impersonator sounds like neither, Smith’s lyricism is evident, as is Russell’s ability to distill a number of seemingly contradictory stylistic ideas into a single focused statement. Though they stand stylistically apart from other artists in their Montreal scene - which includes Grimes, Doldrums, Blue Hawaii, Mac DeMarco, and others - Majical Cloudz are proud beneficiaries of its camaraderie.
Devon Welsh on Impersonator: "In the last few years there’s been a massive explosion of amazing music made with computers, samplers and other electronic equipment. The possibilities became nearly endless and musicians indulged those possibilities. I love that kind of music but it also started to overwhelm me. I wasn’t cut out for the maximalist expressions of that style. So I took a break from music, and when I started again it was to make music that barely existed and felt like stillness more than movement. Where the songs could be more about humanness."
He adds, "I love all forms of electronic music, techno, house, rave, hip-hop, but I never want to feel like the music I’m making is just about stylistic play. The easiest way for me to do that is try to make something without obvious movement; where the music isn’t overstuffed sonically or referentially, it’s emptied out as much as possible. So the vision for Impersonator was to communicate a lot with as little as possible. It’s not meant to energize and turn you out to the world, it’s meant to do the opposite; it’s more like a cocoon."
Majical Cloudz Impersonator Track Listing:
2. This Is Magic
3. Childhood’s End
4. I Do Sing For You
6. Turns Turns Turns
7. Silver Rings
9. Bugs Don’t Buzz