Behind the Release: Here We Go Magic “The January”

BROOKLYN, NY — “I have a fever for this machine,” says Jen Turner of Here We Go Magic.

Although it wasn’t always a smooth ride, she quickly fell in love with the 8-track reel-to-reel that captured almost every note of basic tracking on Here We Go Magic’s latest release, an EP titled The January. “It’s very dear to me. I was sitting next to it for three months, practically stroking the thing,” she continues admiringly.

Here We Go Magic, Jen Turner second from left

But according to Turner, the vintage Tascam Model 48 used on the sessions for The January and its predecessor, Pigeons, “would only work for about five days at a time.”

“[Guitarist] Mike [Bloch] would have to go behind and put a drumstick in the electronics to make it work. It would be perfect for another five days, until he’d have to come back again and stick some chewing gum in there.”

Requisite technical hiccups aside, it was an unusual process that led to an uncommon recording. From the first plodding bass notes of the opener “Tulip,” HWGM’s newest release doles out twenty-one minutes of big, fat chamber pop. It’s dense, atmospheric, ambitious, and invites comparisons to some of the innovative work by Caribou and Grizzly Bear, or the most forward-thinking moments of 60s cult favorites The Zombies.

“On the next release, some of us have a desire to make the sound a little less crazy. But personally, I’m all for crazy,” laughs Turner, the band’s bass player, and de facto producer for Here We Go Magic’s two most recent records….

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