Album review number 4. You can also see it here.
Magic Arm – Images Rolling (Switchflicker/Peacefrog)
What’s the most productive thing you’ve ever done while moving house? My guess would be actually managing to move house. That would be enough for most people. Magic Arm’s sole member, multi-instrumentalist Marc Rigelsford, used the time to make an album, setting up a studio in his new house as its occupants moved out. Not that you’d tell from listening to it; Images Rolling is full of layered nuances. You’d expect the band to be at least five or six members strong.
The music itself has a sense of empty space created by low-key piano, violin, synth and vocals. You can imagine empty rooms waiting to be filled. Not always waiting with optimism, though. ‘I want a great life’ is the simple chorus for ‘Great Life’, but Marc Rigelsford doesn’t sound too hopeful about that. His flat vocals accentuate that, and continue in a similar way for the rest of the tracks.
This isn’t a gloomy album, however. In ‘Tonight I Walk’ the melancholy lyrics ‘tonight I walk alone/each and every step leaves me wanting more’ are contrasted by more optimistic music, while the opening track ‘Put Your Collar Up’ constantly surprises you with changes.
Overall the album is a subtle and compelling listen, something well worth spending some time with.