Brooklyn’s Here We Go Magic is a band that has been growing, physically and sonically. Originally a project for folk songwriter Luke Temple to have a brand name associated with his Shins meets Simon and Garfunkel approach to lo-fi songwriting, the “band” swelled to a five piece, released 2010’s Pigeons, and is now expanding yet again by snagging Radiohead producer (credited sometimes as a sixth member of said group, such is his influence) Nigel Godrich to helm the production deck of their A Different Ship, the third album under the Here We Go Magic moniker.
You may be wondering what Mob favour Temple and company had to pull in to get such an appreciated producer to work on an indie album, but the story goes that the band played the Glastonbury Festival in June 2010 deprived of sleep, but managed to perform well enough to impress both Godrich and Thom Yorke, who would later call the band his favourite of the festival, both of whom were in the front row during the set. Godrich would go on to see the band a few more times on tour in Europe, and then propose that he aid the group on their next release. Instant magic!
Well, I can say one thing with absolute certainty: Here We Go Magic have basically turned in the album that Radiohead should have made immediately following In Rainbows. It’s a tunefully, poppy affair, clearly influenced by ‘70s Krautrock, with a completely layered sound that invites you to peel away at it to get to all of its carefully structured secrets. And you listen to A Different Ship and have to wonder: how much has working with Radiohead influenced Godrich as a producer, or how much Radiohead has benefited the other way around? It’s a puzzle, but one thing is clear: Godrich’s stamp of genius is all over A Different Ship … a careening, exhilarating ride with highlight after highlight. With A Different Ship, Here We Go Magic has clearly and undeniably arrived at the port of entry to indie rock’s pantheon of top shelf acts – an utterly shattering release that anyone who likes forward-thinking music must have. — PopMatters
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