After the release of their self titled debut in 2018, Brighton’s The Magic Gang were riding a wave of plaudits going into the recording of their second album Death of the Party. While their optimism may have been charred, their talent for creating huge hooks continues to burn bright.
The band teased the release with five singles beginning with ‘Think’ followed by other stand outs tracks from the record, ‘What Have You Got To Lose’ and the phenomenally successful ‘Take Back The Track’. They have shown their ability to write great tunes about less sunnier elements of life. They have developed as writers and musicians with this album, exploring darker elements of life, when the party has died out.
‘(The World) Outside My Door’ with its lyrics, “My luck’s running out on me, I try catch up but I’m losing my breath, The water is rising on me, I’ve been swimming but I’m outta my depth,” was inspired by the Extinction Rebellion protest in London whilst the band were holed up writing their second album. “It’s quite a guilt-laden song about feeling that you should be doing more,” said frontman Jack Kaye.
‘Take Back The Track’ released in April during lockdown saw the band turn to innovative director Georgina Cammalleri (nominated for a VMA for her work with Swim Deep on ‘Too Feel Good’). Cammalleri described the recording, as intense, it depicts the band reuniting in a rehearsal dial-in session, with comical random chat windows popping up during the song. With its perfect upbeat disco bop and gorgeous harmonies – it was the perfect antidote to the doom and gloom of the world that it was released into.
‘Gonna Bounce Back’ and ‘Fail Better’ refer to the side of life that is less rosy, and show the band touching on new, darker influences both sonically and lyrically. Although their optimistic view on life is revived ever so slightly on the former as Kaye sings, “I look like shit right now, live at my parents’ house, but wait till I return, then I’ll have something for everyone to learn”.
With mental health in young men being at its worst for the last two decades it is great to see a band made up of young men not shying away from the subject. They deal with the topic with a great level of sensitivity, leaving the listener with an overarching sense of hope. Whilst there is a recognition of the struggles, this album feels more earthly than their optimistic, flowery debut.
With Death of the Party, The Magic Gang have made an album that is open, emotional, and relatable, while retaining their initial charm that worked magic on their debut.
Magic Gang are set for a UK tour in 2021 as well as dates in Leeds and Newcastle upon Tyne later this year. You can view their full upcoming tour dates here.