There’s more than a touch of excitement about dazzling newcomer Magique right now and rightly so. Following on from a solid first release in 2016, the otherworldly synth-pop of ‘Real Love’ is like a powerful potion concocted using elements of Brooklyn favourite Twin Shadow and French electro-rockers M83. The track is co-produced by Kit Monteith (Foals, Toothless) and starts in subdued fashion, a dreamy gleam of ambient noise and confessional vocals, before jolting into life courtesy of a colossal chorus that proves instantly irresistible. With Magique set to grace our July live show with Lost In The Manor at The Finsbury in London, we got to know the man behind the mystical moniker.
‘Real Love’ is brilliant. How did the track come about?
“It started out as this kind of crazy seven minute mess, and slowly started to come together after what felt like forever. I had both riffs from the outset, but couldn’t put my finger on how to use them both in the right way. Then the eureka moment hit with the chorus and everything slowly started to come together to form the track. The lyrics tend to ebb and flow, but I always had a recurring theme of growing up with someone from afar and appreciating who they’re becoming, so tried to figure out the best way to describe that and what you hear now is the outcome.”
How did Magique start out?
“I’ve played in bands before and written in a lot of different forms, but this was something I always came back to as quite an insular thing. I suck at being open and honest with most things in life, so this was just an outlet for me to do that. Before I knew it I had thirty or so ideas and songs and felt happy enough to show people and it kind of snowballed into what it’s becoming now.”
What inspired your name?
“I’ve had a SoundCloud profile with the name for years. It’s always felt like an alter-ego or something to escape into to write things I felt uncomfortable with, so when those things became a group of tracks that I was proud of it only felt right for it to become Magique.”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“There tends to be two sides to Magique, which get informed by different artists and music, and I often find myself looking backwards without realising. I’ve always had a huge love for Talk Talk and the way Mark Hollis writes music, so they’re a big influence. Any synth sound you hear in the tracks is 100% influenced by the Bruces – Springsteen and Hornby – and then artists I look to today really vary. I’m a sucker for electronic instruments, so I always have an eye on James Blake for interesting sounds buried in his records, and then the more immediate side of things I think it’s stuff I’ve grown up with that immediately makes you feel good. I saw Temples live recently and I’ve always been a huge fan – they never fail to blow me away – so I’d say they’re an influence for me in a live setting too.”
Any other new bands that you’ve played with and would recommend?
“Go check out Be Good, Easy Life and this year’s best live band without a doubt, Confidence Man.”
And finally, what does 2017 hold for Magique?
“The summer is being spent buried in the studio finishing up the next release which will be out in September, then we’ll go and play as many shows as we can fit in and meet as many people as we can. This is just the start of it all, which is really exciting.”