Exclusive Interview: The Magic - Counteract | Music News & Reviews From BirminghamCounteract | Music News & Reviews From Birmingham | Counteract is the best place for local music news, reviews and interviews from the heart of Birmingham.
Not much new music from Canada makes it over to this side of the pond so we at Counteract were impressed when we heard Ragged Gold the debut album from The Magic (aka brothers Geordie and Evan Gordon). We caught up with singer Geordie and chatted about inspiration, music and their plans to come to the UK.
Not knowing too much about them we asked Geordie to fill us in on how they got into music in the first place. “We grew up travelling around with our folk musician father”. That immersion in the world of folk certainly had an effect on Geordie’s first foray into music, “my first instrument was fiddle”. Nevertheless, at school things changed slightly, “I started gigging on drums with this kids’ band we had, playing fall fairs and school gyms and stuff. In high school I was in a band called Barmitzvah Brothers that played kind of twee electronic polka based around an Omnichord and a pile of Casios and toy pianos”. That varied young career meant that Geordie “never really had that ‘playing Nirvana in the basement’ phase most musicians start with”.
Electro-funk, 80s synths and beats and saxophone all make an appearance on the album so we asked Geordie about his musical heroes. Soul artists Curtis Mayfield and Al Green were mentioned alongside New Wavers Tom Tom Club and multi-instrumentalist and producer Todd Rundgren. But inspiration for Geordie can come from anywhere as long as there’s real effort involved: “anytime an artist or musician or party planner or whoever puts extra hard work and passion into a project to really bring it up to another level, it instills a passion in me to get my shit together and create”. That idea of getting “shit together” interested us so we asked Geordie to tell us about how the album was created. It was quite a surprise to find that Ragged Gold didn’t have a concept driving it but was, instead, a more complex process. “Half of the songs are very old, some of the first ones we wrote” Geordie told us. “We had lost the original versions in a computer disaster and wanted to record better updated takes on them. Then to complete the LP we chose newer songs that had the same flashy sound as the older ones. I kept a lot of songs for the next record that have more of an organic feel.”
The Gordon brothers plan to tour the UK this Autumn, “We are touring Europe with our other band Islands in September and October and are very excited to stick around after to play some Magic shows”. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing them play live and we thought we’d leave it to Geordie to describe the kind of sounds we can expect to hear: “Since I hate noisy music but quiet music often gets overshadowed, I am trying to make funky dance music that still embodies some strong mood and emotional weight. Also this is a cymbal free record!”. We look forward to catching a cymbal-free live show by The Magic later in the year.
About Amanda Penlington
I’m passionate about music, especially live music. Favourite bands include Smith Westerns, The Vaccines, Yuck, The Drums, Young Buffalo, Everything Everything, Wild Beasts, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, Girls, and White Rabbits.