Magic Castles Explore the Corners of Pysch Rock With Their Outstanding New Sun Reign LP
Sun Reign, the latest album from longtime Minneapolis band Magic Castles, is a master course in exploring the multi-dimensional, colorful palette of the pysch rock genre. Like much of their previous work, the LP bends and flows, probing the various corners of an expansive style of music with curiosity and precision.
Whether jangly guitar pysch on songs like “Sunburst,” “Ode to the Wind” and “Surmise,” or shimmering shoegaze-influenced pop on tracks “Lost Dimension,” “World of Time” and the hazy “Gates of the Sun,” the record is heavy, warm and heady. Much of the album features a rich tapestry of fuzzy riffs, but there also are celestial, floating vignettes like “Valley of Nysa” and “Magna Mater.”
Over the 10 songs the band create an album that brings to life moody contradictions, resulting in another great record for a band with an already impressive catalog. There is a heaviness on the record that could come from the times we are living in, or from frontman Jason Edmond’s really bad car crash in late 2019, but the mood is more serious and reflective than harsh or oppressive. It is a sound of diving deeper without losing sight of the strange beauty of the world.
Sun Reign succeeds both as a collection of individual tracks that showcase Edmond’s songwriting chops but also as a united document that I’ve found myself getting lost inside of many times over the last month. Showcasing an ability to expand and explore the genre they’ve staked their claim on, Magic Castles have reached new heights on Sun Reigns.
Listen below and buy the (really beautiful, multi-colored) LP from A records, the label started and run by Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre. You should always support local music with your cash, but believe me when I tell you this record and packaging are stunning, and this record was made to be played on your turntable.
Writer / co-founder