ALBUM REVIEW: Impersonator by Majical Cloudz

Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto are the Montreal duo that make up the music project known as Majical Cloudz. Although this band is very synth pop based, the lyrics in their second full length 2013 album called Impersonator, give off  more meaning than previous work they have done before. Impersonator is the band’s third album release but their first one from Matador Records. In 2011 they had released a full length album called II on Arbutus Records, and in 2012 they also released their Turns Turns Turns EP.  Impersonator differs greatly from II with its overall sound and style. II is much more instrumental, mixed beats, and muffled vocals; whereas Impersonator has a prominent mono tone voice throughout the entire album and is also backed by a mix of pop beats.

Songs that provide the listener with a darker vibe are “Childhood’s End” and “Illusion.” With lyrics like “Someone died, gunshot right outside. Your father, he is dead. I see him in my head.” When listening to the album, Welsh’s voice provides us with an eerie and memorizing feel especially in “Childhood’s End,” where the song is about a young boy losing his father. That song in particular uniquely stands out compared to the rest of the album, where Welsh mainly repeats either title of the song over synthesized beats, such as in the song “Illusion,” or other simple phrases like “I know” in the song “Turns Turns Turns.” This approach to their music gives them the identity of an abstract musical group. In an interview with Flavorwire online, Welsh said that he wanted his music to be more intimate on Impersonator.

“I started to get ideas about what music really meant to me, [I thought about] what music I liked, why I liked it, and why it was meaningful [to me]. Those ideas led me to want to make something that was more straightforward and clear about its intentions. It cleared out everything that was in the way, the obstacles between the content of the songs and somebody listening to it. Instead of trying to use different sounds and different musical ideas, and approaching music as a platform for innovating, technically speaking, I just wanted to approach it as a platform for generating intimacy.”

This intimacy is seen with the more prominent vocals moving with the musical beats of each song on the new album. Majical Cloudz will be going on tour in the United States starting late Summer early Fall. Impersonator is available for streaming on Spotify and iTunes.

Majical Cloudz Tour Dates:

Aug 26th Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA

Sept 19th KungFu Necktie Philidephia, PA

Sept 14th Mercury Lounge New York, NY

Sept 15th Great Scott Allston, MA