Saturday 31 July 2021



Billing itself as “a soundtrack for tending rooftop gardens by moonlight”, Magnetic Vines’ eponymous release is a selection of essentially relaxing soundscapes. Many of the tracks have evocative titles; for example, there’s ‘Vines and Old Concrete’, ‘Night Bloom’ and ‘Quiet Old Shipwreck’, all of which feature age-warped acoustic guitar, plucked as if from a bygone time and space entirely.

Particularly interesting are the pieces forming the second half of the album; four tracks titled ‘Cyanotype’ and four named ‘Constellation’, ordered by key like an etude or a prelude. While the later Constellations are expansive and magnetic, the Cyanotypes — named after the blue-hued photographic printing process — are melancholic, inward looking, and range from space-filled and poignant (‘Cyanotype in G# minor’) to starkly ambient (‘Cyanotype in Eb minor’), with a warm nocturne in the form of the finale in C major.

Overall, the tones and textures of its Mediterranean-flavoured guitars, crooning brass, cradling harmonicas and subtle synthwork are perfectly paired with album’s core value: imagination. Magnetic Vines in its entirety is a wash of soft clarity, like holding an old book in your hands for the first time, or as its concept suggests, tending to the new sprouting leaves on familiar shrubs — all bathed in moonlight, of course.

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