Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

 |   |  1 min read

Magic Arm: Move Out
Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

This techno-pop, Pro Tools-folktronic album by Manchester's one-man band Marc Rigelsford finally gets belated local release (it appeared in the UK a year ago). But it's timely with the Band on the Run reissue because Rigelsford's reference points are the younger McCartney and classic Beach Boys as much early Beck and pre-fame Bright Eyes (the folktronic stuff) and the woozy folkadelic pop of the Beta Band.

All those are excellent models upon which Magic Arm (Rigelsford with occasional help from a drummer, trumpeter and violinist) build their reconstructed pop where the Sixties collides with  Seventies sonic beeps and gritty electronic washes, dreamy ballads (Outdoor Games) and Daft Punk. (He has a minimalist electro-piece called Daft Punk is Playing at My House).

Magic Arm are pleasing unpredictable: Move Out opens with cheap electronic keyboard suggesting a North African melody; Coach House is a charming instrumental with finger-picking guitar behind the Lemon Jelly-like electronic melodies; and Six Cold Feet of Ground is appropriately funereal but has a weird old acoustic blues-pop feel (“always think of me mama, that's a good man gone down . . . I ain't done nothin' wrong”) before some McCartney-like doo-doo pop then Kraftwerk if they ever got in a romantic mood. Odd.

Magic Arm/Rigelsford haven't made an essential album, but the broad sweep, seductive pop alongside machine-driven effects, and some standout tracks certainly make you want to play this repeatedly – and hear more.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Shearwater: Jet Plane and Oxbow (Sub Pop)

Shearwater: Jet Plane and Oxbow (Sub Pop)

Although somewhat difficult listening (because the lyrics needed decoding, if not footnotes), the previous Shearwater albums which passed Elsewhere's way have been quite beguiling. On both... > Read more

Rodney Crowell: The Houston Kid (Sugar Hill)

Rodney Crowell: The Houston Kid (Sugar Hill)

Rodney Crowell's star has been in steady decline since the 80s and now the former son-in-law of Johnny Cash and rockin' country singer-songwriter is on the same minor label as Dolly Parton who... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Nick Mc Grath of Sparrow Thieves

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Nick Mc Grath of Sparrow Thieves

Last week Elsewhere was pleased to introduce, Lethargic Caffeine, the debut album by Southland's Sparrow Thieves noting gthat it betrayed a maturity of songwriting and an economy of pop-rock into... > Read more

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (2001): The Beatles first film on DVD

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (2001): The Beatles first film on DVD

There's a brief scene in A Hard Day's Night that went right past most people at the time. Watch carefully in the first few minutes and you'll catch it. John Lennon is sitting in a railway... > Read more