Some Easy Magic by the Fungi Girls came out this week. I’ve been anticipating its release since I heard Velvet Days a couple of weeks back; I don’t remember where I heard it though, maybe Pitchfork. Anyway, that track had me stoned. I didn’t know anything about Fungi Girls, none of the stuff that gets rehashed as blog fodder: they’re under 21, from Texas, signed to Hozac Records blah blah blah. The record just got me; the airy, laconic bass, the half-sung/half-spoken vocal. It sounded effortlessly cool. Now I have the whole whack, and currently, the album is charming its way through my speakers and drifting into the ether.
It’s a sunny morning in London, I look out from my window at the council-block blight at eye-level and then into the big white-streaked blue above. It feels like I’ve picked the right moment to do this. The drums splutter like a baby’s cough, they never really get going on Some Easy Magic, it’s like the drummers shuffling along quietly in an adjacent room. Everything’s fine though, it sounds good. Everything’s loose and slow-rocking. ‘Doldrums’, with that jaunty guitar flailing about as the singer complains about sitting around and having nothing to do, feels particularly loose and particularly rocking.
Records like this leave you bored with terms like ‘psychedelic’ and ‘surf’ and make you want to pack in the old word game. But it’s my job to tell you what’s what and when’s where etc . So here it is… Some Easy Magic has moments of typically ‘surf’ style guitar that deviate from the curt, punkish chord progressions. And there’s psychedelia too, whatever that may be (that half-baked, nothing really matters, turtle guitar, chicken sun sort of feeling?). Maybe that makes it a garage record, since the garage was the place where white suburban kids with guitars and amps started making that weird, stupid, lazy, mash-up of sounds. It doesn’t end in the garage though, not with Fungi Girls. Some Easy Magic is a studio record, and it’s all the better for it. I’ve already talked about the quiet splutter of the drums, but I didn’t mention how subtle they are. Listen to trad garage bands like The Sonics and everything’s in your face and laying blows on you. Some people like it that way; I like it that way, sometimes. But Some Easy Magic takes her easy, as Woody would say, and avoids the temptation to be brash and confrontational. That’s why it doesn’t matter whether this band are young: they have the self-control and experience to know what makes a record sound good.
I haven’t explained much about individual tracks, have I? They’re all good though. The record begins with a minute long instrumental that stops just as you start to groove; I would have liked it to be longer, but so what? ‘Honey Face’ jumps in quick enough with a false start before the 1234 of the drum sticks ushers in the album proper.
Song after song thereafter.
Buy it from Hozac Records