I accidentally caught a show by Montreal natives, Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto – better known as Majical Cloudz – show earlier this year, and was captivated throughout the set. The honesty of the lyrics paired with the intensity of Welsh’s stare gripped me. Ever since, I haven’t been able to forget about them, and so, when their debut LP Impersonator was released May 21 on Matador Records, I eagerly picked up a copy.
The duo are both sonically and lyrically straightforward, which is what makes them so intriguing. Matthew Otto’s expansive synths lay the perfect foundation for the songs, which create a dark lullaby thanks to Welsh’s deep vocals and melancholic lyrics. ‘I Do Sing For You’ acts as a letter to the listener, and could be seen as an address to Welsh’s non-confirming way of performing live. The pulsating beat on ‘Mister’ has a quicker tempo than the rest, and lyrics that remind the listener to remain present: “Hey Mister / Don’t you want to be right here?”
The sincerity of such lyrics as “Somebody knows who I am / Somebody sees me and wants to be my friend / And I know this is all that I want” and “If life could be forever one instant, / Would it be the moment you met me / No my love”, sit well if you’re feeling introspective. At times, it feels as though Welsh is penning a diary entry, or reading yours aloud to you.
There is an innately human quality to the music, which is what makes it so relatable. It’s an album that, at its best, consoles the listener – it’s refreshing to know that someone out there has been able to elegantly profess such feelings as loss of identity on stripped down tracks that confront the listener about his or her inevitable mortality – as Welsh sings on closing track ‘Notebook’: “Hey man, sooner or later you’ll be dead.”
For more on Majical Cloudz, visit majicalcloudz.com