The Magic Numbers: Romeo Stodart (vocals, guitars); Angela Gannon (vocals, melodica, glockenspiel); Michele Stodart (vocals, bass instrument); Sean Gannon (drums).
Recording information: 2005.
A critical success in the U.K. (where the band is based), the Magic Numbers' acclaimed debut appeared stateside on Capitol at the end of the summer in 2005. An alternative of sorts to the garage rock and '80s new wave and post-punk revivals, the Magic Numbers play a brand of bright, breezy pop that draws inspiration from'60s jangle-rock and the harmony-heavy sound of groups like the Mamas and the Papas, while combining a fresh-faced rock naivete with a contemporary indie sensibility.
The band contains two pairs of siblings, and is led by Romeo Stodart, who sings, plays guitar and piano, and writes most of the material. At their best, the Magic Numbers have a way with a straightforward pop song and a smile-inducing melody ("Forever Lost"), and the ability to revisit old school R&B-style balladry with lush harmonies and new rock polish ("Love's A Game"). The territory is all very familiar, but the Magic Numbers have a refreshingly light touch and a rootsy, folky sound that makes their self-titled debut worth hearing.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (No. 984, p.148) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...[B]lending rainy-day folk, shambling indie rock and heartbreak harmonies into a dog-eared pop record your mother could love...."
Spin (p.135) - "[Their] close harmonizing meticulously shades in their occasionally bouncy, mildly bummed, curiously charming pop."
Entertainment Weekly (No. 845, p.77) - "...[C]heery, zippy exuberance that is rare these days." - Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) (p.58) - Ranked #7 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[I]nfectious melodies and keen vocal harmonies held sway..."