After their second album, "Before The Waves," was released in July of 2014, indie synth rock band, Magic Man, sent literal "waves" through the alternative music scene. I've been extremely lucky to see them live and definitely understand why they are loved by many. Alex Caplow (vocals) and Sam Lee (guitars and keyboard) started the band in 2010. "Alex and I wrote the first Magic Man songs when we were traveling together in the south of France, the summer after our freshman year. We made a DIY, self released record that we put online for free and started playing our first shows once we got back. The band ended up expanding to a five piece line up, Justine Bowe (keyboards), Gabe Goodman (bass) and Joey Sulkowski (drums), as we wanted to bring a more band oriented sound to the music, which up to that point was pretty lo-fi and bedroom pop." Lee explains.
No one has really been able to pinpoint the exact genre that Magic Man is, not even the band themselves. "Someone once called us glo-fi, which I like, although I'm not really sure what it means." The beauty of this band is that no song sounds exactly the same. From their first album "Real Life Colors" to their second "Before The Waves" there was quite a big shift in sound. When I asked if we could expect to hear another sound shift in their next album, they replied, "Anything's possible! We're always interested in exploring new sounds and styles, and that's definitely something we're planning for our 3rd album, although we're not exactly sure on the direction as of now."
Fashion style is always something I find fascinating about bands and that was no exception the first time I saw Magic Man live. "In a sense, every aspect of the band influences our image, yes, but I don't think (fashion) has been a huge part of Magic Man the way it might be for a band who dresses up in elaborate outfits for a show. We try to stick to timeless classics and simple styles, something we've always tried to mirror in our music. It's always nice to hear that not only does a fan like your music, but their parents that brought them to the show as well!" They explained.
I was also curious for them to explain the various songs on their albums named after cities. "(Each song is) more so a representation of what that city/place means to us, although sometimes it refers to a specific moment or event related to that place. We actually wrote Chicagoland about a DIY warehouse venue in Providence called Chicagoland, although we love the city of Chicago too!"
Hailing from Boston, I asked if they felt that the city had much of an influence on their music. "Definitely, why do you think we only sing with a strong baaawston accent? In all seriousness, I think playing a lot of our first shows in the Boston DIY scene really affected how we approach a live show. When you're dealing with a subpar PA, no stage, and a tiny sweaty basement, it's really up to you as a performer to make the show exciting. I think it was where we first started to learn how to put on an exciting show." When asked what city would be their wish of the last city to ever perform in, of course, they replied with "Boston—we have such a wonderful group of fans in our home city, and most importantly, it's always great to play for so many friends and family. I never want to play a last show, but if we had to, Boston would be a great spot to do it."
In 2013, they supported Panic! At The Disco and Walk The Moon on their summer tour and picked up a lot of new fans.
Once their single "Paris" started being played on every alternative radio station, the band was "pleasantly surprised." Over the past year, Magic Man has certainly made a name for themselves and I predict that they will only get bigger from here.