Eliciting comparisons to iconic groups like the Cure, Japan, Tears for Fears, Empire of the Sun, and CHVRCHES, synth rock duo Magnetic Skies pride themselves on delivering nostalgic and moving music that perfectly evokes the magic of a bygone era. On the title track from their upcoming EP, Dreams and Memories, they do precisely that by crafting a silkily remorseful and pensive journey that’s sure to resonate with every listener.
Spawned roughly a year ago by singer/songwriter Simon Kent and vocalist/programmer Jo Womar, Magnetic Skies came together after the duo realized that they had a shared interest in electronic music while working at a one-off arts/charity live show. True, Kent’s established solo career had already earned him considerable attention and opportunities—including tours with the Christians, Emma Stevens, and Echo & the Bunnymen—but his chemistry with Womar was so strong that they decided to focus on starting something new.
As Kent explains, “[S]ometimes you just have to follow your instinct and your heart. And this is where my heart wants me to go”; likewise, Womar calls their partnership “a really exciting adventure”, adding, “I have a really cool collection of analog and digital synthesizers, which are the foundation for the tracks. Simon can play a bit of everything, so he was able to contribute keys, guitars, and bass to finish everything off.”
While every track they’ve recorded thus far—enough to “form the basis” of a trio of EPs for 2019 and an LP to follow—is impactful in its own ways, there’s something really special about “Dreams and Memories”. For one thing, it’s the first song they recorded together, and it champions “seizing life’s chances”. Placed atop a descending guitar line, evocative synths, and arpeggios, and unwavering percussion, their discerningly wispy and sorrowful dejection and realizations also arouse the criminally unknown Neverending White Lights. It’s truly a striking aural experience whose retro sheen and gorgeous heartache will stay with you long after it concludes.
The entire Dreams and Memories EP was mixed by Phill Brown (Talk Talk, Zero 7, Bob Marley) and engineered by Rob Aubrey (Big Big Train). If the remaining three pieces are as good as the title track—which you can hear above—then Dreams and Memories will be a triumph of its genre when it releases on 22 March 22 via ReprinT Records.