Slow Magic

Float (Downtown Records)

Contact Patrick Tilley about Slow Magic

Darkness and light, aggression and gentleness, ecstasy and reflection: these dualities define Slow Magic’s third and strongest project to date, Float. An expansive and inventive compendium of modern electronic pop, the enigmatic producer’s latest spans a multitude of genres and moods resulting in a listening experience that makes for its own journey.

 

Written and recorded over the past two years, work on Float commenced shortly after touring behind 2014’s dreamy How to Run Away, the record’s jagged and surprising new sounds taking shape after a leisurely trip to Iceland in order to “try to get away” from things. A subsequent trip to Japan—wherein Slow Magic performed in the country for the first time—further solidified what would go into the album’s sonic and visual motifs. “I think my music’s always been escapist, but I wanted to mix that with more realistic things, too,” the producer states about their record, the overall vibe of which they define as “Float, and escape what’s going on.”

 

Indeed, Float travels through a variety of environs that are as pleasing as they are thrillingly and unfamiliar. This is darker and more aggressive territory for Slow Magic, from the hyperspeed trance stabs of opener “Valhalla” to the rolling tones of “Wildfire” and the punchy party of “Midnight Sun,” which gives way to billowing orchestral sighs. But the producer’s innate sense of melody is more than intact, too—a greater focus on songcraft than ever before, and one that matches his keen sense of worldbuilding.

 

And that increased focus of songcraft has to do with—naturally—not being afraid to try new things. Float marks a number of “firsts” for Slow Magic: it’s the first time the producer’s worked with live drums, as well as the first time they’ve brought guest vocalists into the Slow Magic world. “It was a very Slow Magic type of thing, where the collaborators didn’t even know who I am,” the producer states when talking about the folks who pitched in, from MNDR and Swedish electro-rockers Kate Boy to like-minded producer Tropics and Antlers frontman Peter Silberman.

 

“Working with vocalists was exciting, and a challenge to find the right fit,” Slow Magic explains. “I wanted to make an album that told a story, which is hard with a bunch of people involved—but it worked out really well.” A particularly unexpected collaboration was with Silberman, who lends his distinctive pipes to the lovely and understated “Belong 2 Me.” “He called me, and I was really surprised. I’d made a list of people I wanted to work with, and he got back to me really quickly—I was starstruck. I’ve really loved the Antlers for a long time, and it was effortless working together.”

 

Elsewhere, Kate Boy soar on the skyscraping “Mind,” MNDR’s elastic voice ripples over the bloom-and-burst of “Shivers,” and Tropics adds dusky, desolate vocals to the fleet-footed “Light.” But it’s a testament to Slow Magic’s unique creative approach that these different voices coalesce on an album that presents a uniform vision even as it embraces exuberant creativity. Music has always provided a retreat for anyone looking to lose themselves in pure sound, and Float is a trip that no one will regret taking.

VIDEO

audio

Tour

  •  
    Apr 13, 2018
    Indio, CA
    Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

  •  
    Apr 20, 2018
    Indio, CA
    Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival