Majical Cloudz – 9/15/13 – Great Scott

Don’t let the texting teenager spelling of this duo throw you off; Majical Cloudz has not only got talent, but they tackle topics with such haunting maturity that any previous notions of adolescence conjured by their name will be wiped from your mind. There’s actually reasoning behind the seemingly childish name; aware of the importance of the role of the Internet in modern day music discovery, they adopted this moniker to make the group more Google-able.

Now, a lot of artists sing about sad stuff, but very few can pull you into their sombre world the way Devon Welsh does. You can tell he’s aware of the emotion that’s pouring out of him and that he knows that some of the audience members will really soak in it, connecting with his slow, pained statements. This Sunday, he played at Great Scott and put on what could only be described as an intimate and emotional show. 

The duo created a fitting ambiance, submerging themselves in darkness by having the lights turned off during the set. Devon’s voice held strong for most of the show, but an illness and throat pains (he even stopped to take a sip out of a plastic bear-shaped honey container at one point) prevented him from performing the type of show he had hoped for. He checked in with the audience to see how he was doing, unsure whether or not to continue; at one point, he explained that he felt like they were a cover band, some sort of sad attempt at performing their own songs. Believe me, there’s raw power behind that voice, and hearing him put himself down took away some of the mysterious energy that should have lingered at the end of each song.  

In Silver Rings he pleads “stay with me my love”, referencing a wedding band before solemnly singing “I don’t think about dying alone.” Devon lays out solemn truths, bare and exposed, and the audience stares up at him, nodding along, because they too have felt the same way – we just want to know we’re not the only one before we admit such a thing. The rest of the show mirrored this sort of feel – Devon steadily unwrapping dark secrets, revealing confessions the rest of us keep hushed. Meanwhile, Matthew Otto worked the keyboard, guiding the sound to sync with the ends of Devon’s lyrics, smoothly transitioning the organic vocals to the vibrating electronic noise; transforming the emotional feelings of the lyrics into a physical sensation.

Regardless of the fact that Devon was not in perfect health, or whether or not they put on a show that was up to their own expectations, one thing’s for certain, this is a band to take seriously.

 

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