As impressive as the now all-too-familiar, cross-continental back-story of Brooklyn/Kenya – by way of Milwaukee – indie rock outfit Eric & Magill is on its own, the frequency and ongoing improvement of the long distance duo’s output is even more astounding.
In February, Camden expats Eric Osterman (who relocated to Brooklyn) and Ryan Weber (currently residing in Kenya) wrote and recorded the excellent EP Two Travelers through email correspondence. Less than half a year later, the ambitious pair is back with its second full-length – and fourth release – since 2010, Night Singers.
For a band known for fashioning layered and lush soundscapes, Night Singers begins in an uncharacteristically boisterous manner. Between Kenyan chants and distorted guitar of opener “What I Say” and the peppy drum beat and upbeat chorus of “Baggage and Clothes,” Eric & Magill put some distance between this present incarnation and the piano ballad outro of Travelers. The jangly jaunt doesn’t last long before the band returns to its somber displaced Northwoods hymnals with the gorgeous (while two minutes too short) “Calendars” and “Peaks and Valleys.”
Night Singers could be faulted for inconsistencies that place the electronic drums and droning keyboard of “Love Found” directly beside downright gorgeous, falsetto-lacquered exit of title track and last song “Night Singers” – which augments from a murmur to a crescendo of horns and back in the album’s final four minutes. However, each of Singers’ 10 songs is a welcomed inclusion to the ever-growing catalog (both in quantity and in quality) of a project that won’t let silly little things like an ocean, numerous time zones and other recent releases delay their progression.
If Night Singers is any indication of what we’re to expect going forward, I can’t wait for the next one from Eric & Magill. Say next spring?
Purchase or download Night Singers at Eric & Magill’s Bandcamp page. Or buy it on iTunes.