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Not Not Fun’s recent tape release from Edinburgh’s Magic Eye sets a raw analog recording palette against a batch of “aquarium” pop tunes. Vocals cheerfully coo like a decaying Blossom Dearie hologram; two guitars permeate taught jangle-hooks in a mirage of analog warble. While Magic Eye belongs in the hypnagogia-tinged soft rock club with the likes of Montreal’s TOPS or label-mates White Poppy, their debut sets itself apart with exotic arrangements and a distinctive textural aesthetic. Their press release provides a narrative detailing their dismay with studio gloss and subsequent movement into blustery analog tape terrain; this terrain, in the hands of Magic Eye, is a frozen tundra constantly on the verge of destruction by whirlwinds of crunchy feedback.

Bollywood isolates Roma’s striking vocal line. Her cadence imitates titular genre, belting like the stock bombshell singer of the musical sequences, then curiously flaring out in an electric shimmer. The exotic soundtrack concept marks an inventive influence in the realm of indie pop, one that’s in keeping cinematic quality of these songs. The song eventually gives way to a warm sing-a-long portion that’s got more Christmas-pageant-heart than ethnic flavor; it feels chaotic but touching, like experiencing the apocalypse in a hug huddle. Much of the tape operates with a similar abrasive cheerfulness; the high-end tape crunch is a centerpiece of their aesthetic, tempering the syrupy sweetness of the arrangements. This set of songs affirms and addends the president established by figures like Ariel Pink that the medium of tape production is its own worthy instrument.

Cop the tape here.

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