Slow Magic “Hold Still” + “Girls”

31 Jul 2014 — Sam Clark

Slow Magic is an enigmatic producer who further contributes to his anonymity by performing in an over-sized, neon-striped animal mask. The ambiguity of just what animal the mask is supposed to embody is key, as it reflects how hard it has been to pinpoint Slow Magic to a sole trajectory of aesthetic. His 2012 debut album Triangle embodied the Bandcamp tag “glo-fi” perfectly, its reverb-swathed chillwave origins packing a bigger punch with more agitated drums and angular synths. Slow Magic spent the next two years relatively quiet, remixing the occasional Bon Iver and Gold Panda song while prepping his sophomore effort.

In late June, Slow Magic resurfaced in earnest with “Girls”. The song was touted as being the lead-off single from his as-yet-unnamed album with Downtown Records, and it hit hard. It hit hard not because it was a towering anthem but because it was somewhere on the opposite end of the spectrum; “Girls” relies on a murky vocal sample that fades in from the distance, is placed on a rotary speaker, and permeates the texture as synths and guitar lines weave their way in and out of the mix. While the track is still consistent with many of the tropes common in summertime electronic music, its decidedly minimalist nature stood out and pushed Slow Magic to new heights.

Slow Magic followed up “Girls” with a second single, “Hold Still”, towards the end of July. “Hold Still” is comparatively eerie, relying on a swelling, synth-driven chord progression that crescendos to a false apex, giving way to delicate pianos and a soft vocal melody. Misdirection is the name of the game, and Slow Magic follows through with a stuttering, bass-dropping coda that tantalizes listeners with its abrupt ending.

Both “Hold Still” and “Girls” are taken from Slow Magic’s upcoming album How To Run Away, out September 9 via Downtown Records. The album also features re-workings of one-off singles “Youth Group” and “On Yr Side,” and can be pre-ordered here.