10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Devon Welsh—the lead vocalist and writer of Majical Cloudz—is clearly possessed by something other than the need to express a musical viewpoint. “I’m a liar, I say I make music,” he claims on the title track to Impersonator. “I wanna feel like somebody’s darlin’” is one of his many personal confessions. Welsh and collaborator Matthew Otto work in an echoing, minimalist palette; songs like “Impersonator” are built on little more than vocalized loops with what might be a cello note stretched through the middle, and tunes like “Bugs Don’t Buzz” ring with stripped-down piano marches and Welsh’s forceful vocals. The open spaces are vast, with clicks and thumps and keyboard palpitations carefully weaving a frame around Welsh’s exhortations, which often moves live audiences to tears. At times his voice attempts a grand sweep of beauty, the way Rufus Wainwright’s does—but something snags Welsh during the ascent and brings him back down to reality, which clearly ain’t always pretty in his world. Whatever drives Majical Cloudz to make such starkly emotional music might not be pretty, but it can feel as majical as a double rainbow.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Devon Welsh—the lead vocalist and writer of Majical Cloudz—is clearly possessed by something other than the need to express a musical viewpoint. “I’m a liar, I say I make music,” he claims on the title track to Impersonator. “I wanna feel like somebody’s darlin’” is one of his many personal confessions. Welsh and collaborator Matthew Otto work in an echoing, minimalist palette; songs like “Impersonator” are built on little more than vocalized loops with what might be a cello note stretched through the middle, and tunes like “Bugs Don’t Buzz” ring with stripped-down piano marches and Welsh’s forceful vocals. The open spaces are vast, with clicks and thumps and keyboard palpitations carefully weaving a frame around Welsh’s exhortations, which often moves live audiences to tears. At times his voice attempts a grand sweep of beauty, the way Rufus Wainwright’s does—but something snags Welsh during the ascent and brings him back down to reality, which clearly ain’t always pretty in his world. Whatever drives Majical Cloudz to make such starkly emotional music might not be pretty, but it can feel as majical as a double rainbow.

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