Magic Wands are a dark dream pop trio formed by Chris Valentine (guitar, vocals) and Dexy Valentine (guitar, keyboards, vocals) in Nashville who currently have drummer Pablo Amador within their ranks. Their fifth album `Switch` is released this month.

The album begins with `Prelude` which is a brief aural soundscape almost akin to when an orchestra flexes their muscles before the beginning of a show. We have a fairly edgy offering in `Joy` which sems to question the very premise of the word with a flowing synth like sound and dreamy vocals splayed atop.

Title track `Switch` is a little more upbeat and seems to relish the arrival of something that is welcome but not explained. It has a rhythmic drumbeat and flowing synths with breathy vocals that really entice you in. A constant guitar riff and drumbeat lead us into `Daylight` which is pretty hypnotic and maybe relates to a world in which the narrator withdraws to.

`Falling Trees` is another captivating listen with lyrics that could be interpretated in a number of ways but to me maybe hinted at a religious connotation. A deep guitar riff and dreamy synth swathes guide us into `Starbreeze` which appears to nurture the mysteries of the night air and it`s magical properties.

`Time` is much more robust and faster paced and had hints of The Cure in their early formative days.

There`s a wonderfully ethereal vibe to `Whispers` which sounded like a mix match of Mazzy Star and The Cocteau Twins, quite delightful.

`Dream 92` is another track that will draw you into it`s spell with it`s alluring vocals, shimmering guitar chord riffs and magnetic drum beat. I initially thought that `Sea Glass` referred to something in a dream word but found it`s actually weathered glass found on beaches along bodies of salt water. The track itself is a further irresistible listen where you feel you are visiting another world or dream state.

`Further Away` is a faster paced composition with intermittent guitar solos spread over a driving beat and ruminative vocals that may describe a blurred existence between dreamlike fantasies and reality. The album closes with `Candle Sea` an ambient tranquil number to ease us out on.

Magic Wands are a really interesting and intriguing band and `Switch` their latest offering is really seductive and beguiling. Their music is dark, dreamy, gothic tinged post punk, at times minimal but in this case “less is certainly more.” An album that I’ll return to and am sure will discover further hidden gems.

Rating 8.5 / 10

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