Album review: Magic Trick, “Other Man’s Blues”

by Jon E. Lynch

Magic Trick, “Other Man’s Blues”

Available: Now via Empty Cellar Records as a download, CD, standard black vinyl LP and in limited-edition bundles consisting of an orange-and-white LP and a bonus cassette dubbed the “Mocking Bird Lane Demos Cassette,” consisting of home recordings made during the session in Sedona, Arizona.

Magic Trick began as the solo/bedroom project of Tim Cohen, perhaps best known as the lead singer and co-songwriter of San Francisco psych garage poppers, The Fresh & Onlys. A fixture in the current Bay Area music scene, don’t dare pigeonhole Cohen stylistically. He has recorded under various monikers and musical styles for a variety of labels (Woodsist, Sacred Bones and Hardly Art, to name a few).

On this third Magic Trick record, Cohen has expanded on the laid-back California vibe and atmospheres of previous releases and even tips his hat to jam/psych forefathers The Grateful Dead. The nod is subtle, but the influence is undeniable. Songs are written, arranged and orchestrated for a full band sound, fleshed out by a who’s who of Cohen’s indie contemporaries. One of many standout tracks, “Eternal Summer” has the mark of Laurel Canyon Americana and the sun-drenched feel of Fleetwood Mac-ian female harmonies and accompaniment. This is some of Cohen’s finest work to date, which speaks volumes considering his back catalogue. With each listen, a new favorite track emerges. As such, repeated spins and intricate, directed listens are highly recommended.

For fans of The Fresh & Onlys, Woods, Foxygen or Mark Linkous/Sparklehorse

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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