Most bands that make their living through music have close brushes with others in the limelight. For the members in Here We Go Magic, who perform in Denver May 21 at Hi-Dive, seem to experience star encounters in a happy accident fashion versus the predictable green room, back stage, A-list party scenarios. Encounters that take place, on like, the side of a road or in front of the band while they’re playing.
Most recently, Here We Go Magic was on the road in support of the release of their spanking new album, A Different Ship (May 8, Secretly Canadian). Somewhere in the Ohio area the soundman spotted John Waters, who is known to be an avid hitchhiker, on the side of the road with the internationally known signal for, “I’m looking for a ride.” Yeah. John Waters. And yes, they did pick him up and had much to chat about during the ride.
Back in 2010, members Luke Temple, bassist Jennifer Turner, guitarist Michael Bloch, drummer Peter Hale and then-keyboardist Kristina Lieberson were all in tow for a Glastonbury performance, which was initially thought to be a lackluster experience for the group. “We were playing horribly hungover and groggy in front of hungover and groggy people,” said Bloch.
Indeed, they were playing to a walking dead crowd, with the exception of two fellows who were going all out, crazy like, in the front of the stage. So Bloch shifted his energy and focus to playing just for those two fans. Upon a closer look, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that, holy fuck Batman, it was Thom York doing his infamous, boneless arms dance along with Nigel Godrich.
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Discussions on having Godrich involved in the production of the next album followed for weeks after, discussions turned to reality, and after recording sessions in the U.S. and the U.K, the result was the colorful, crafted soundscapes of A Different Ship.
Here We Go Magic has always had a slight happy-go-lucky appeal, as heard in the 2011 January E.P., thus the reason York was getting his cardio workout that day. But this time around, the tracks on A Different Ship feel more introspective while having eyes wide open to the world outside. The orchestrations still have the beautifully layered effects, while the tendency towards a ying yang of simplicity and complexity arrives more often than not.
“Hard to Be Close” begins with solo guitar lines with the other instruments coming in a bit later, as slow and as subtle as a sunrise, shining light on the chorus as it unfolds the theme of uncertainty; echoing the questions that run through most people’s minds as they protect their heart while waiting for the shoe to drop. A slight jazz improve chord progression is the basis for “I Believe in Action,” providing the consistent undercurrent to float spacious vocal harmonies, which appear and disappear through the fog.
The signature HWGM jingle jangle comes about on “How Do I Know,” again having many questions and slight reservations, made with a sense of experience and insight. And if the album’s cover were to come to life, the young maidens in their swimming caps would be diving slowly through the blue to “Over the Ocean.”
Here We Go Magic Tour:
05/18/12 Milwaukee, WI – Stonefly Brewery w/ Hospitality
05/19/12 Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar w/ Hospitality
05/21/12 Denver, CO – Hi Dive w/ Hospitality, the Marrow
05/22/12 Aspen, CO – Belly Up w/ Hospitality
05/23/12 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge w/ Hospitality
05/24/12 Boise, ID – The Linen Building w/ Hospitality
05/25/12 Portland, OR – Bunk Bar w/ Hospitality
05/27/12 George, WA – Sasquatch Festival
06/02/12 London, UK – Field Day Festival
06/02/12 Bristol, UK – Dot to Dot Festival
06/03/12 Nottingham, UK – Dot to Dot Festival
06/04/12 Newcastle, UK – Evolution Festival @ Spillers Warf
06/06/12 Glasgow, UK – King Tuts
06/10/12 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/12/12 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
06/14/12 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
06/15/12 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
06/16/12 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
06/18/12 Dallas, TX – Son of Hermann Hall
06/19/12 Austin, TX – The Parish
07/05/12 Liege, BE – Les Ardentes Festival
07/07/12 Kinross, UK – T in The Park
07/13/12 Bilbao, ES – BBK Live Festival
07/14/12 Oeiras, PT – Optimus Live
07/26/12 Montreal, QC – Centre Bell w/ Coldplay & Marina and The Diamonds
07/27/12 Montreal, QC – Centre Bell w/ Coldplay & Marina and The Diamonds
08/24/12 Reading, UK – Reading Festival
08/25/12 Leeds, UK – Leeds Festival