Hypnotic. Meditative. Stream-of-consciousness. When describing the swirling, esoteric sounds of indie-rock band Here We Go Magic, one tends to wander into the less-traveled dimensions of rock-n-roll.
It may not be for everyone, but at least it’s unconventional.
Here We Go Magic will perform Friday, May 20 at the Handlebar in downtown Pensacola. The show is on the last leg of a month-long tour to promote the band’s newest EP, “The January,” released last Tuesday.
Here We Go Magic began as the solo project of Brooklyn musician Luke Temple. Temple recorded a self-titled album as Here We Go Magic in 2009, laying down the vocal, guitar, drum and keyboard tracks by himself.
The project later expanded into its current five-piece lineup of Temple, Kristina Lieberson (keyboards), Michael Bloch (guitar), Jennifer Turner (bass) and Peter Hale (drums). In 2010, the group released its second album, “Pigeons,” which was met with moderate critical acclaim.
Here We Go Magic blends folksy guitar riffs with distant, ghostly vocals and church organ-inspired keyboards to produce a sound that’s unlike anything else in the rock-n-roll landscape.
The group has also developed a reputation for putting on atypical live shows.
“(The sound) changes every night because we’re all pretty exploratory musicians,” says drummer and songwriter Peter Hale. “The songs take on a life of their own a little bit. There’s a certain sense of precariousness and volatility.”
For Hale, the experiences of recording in a studio and performing live are radically different affairs.
“Live is very much about rediscovering the music every night,” says Hale. “The records…they’re crafted things that we sort of pored over. (It’s) like putting something down for posterity that people can listen to over and over…and discover different things each time. So you put a lot of stuff in there.”
Hale believes that rock-n-roll is about more than catchy choruses and groovy jams.
“(Rock music) is self-aware, it’s creative,” says Hale. “It’s perceived to be a social thing. It doesn’t feed you or clothe you or bathe you or keep you well. These are still like the paintings in the caves…but yeah man, of course it’s art.”
The group’s penchant for navigating uncharted musical waters has helped Here We Go Magic amass an eclectic, nationwide fan base.
“Our fans are really varied,” says Hale. “They don’t identify with a (particular) scene.”
Despite their diverse nature, Hale says that Here We Go Magic’s fans do share one common quality.
“They love music,” says Hale. “They’re music fans. (When they talk to us,) they want to talk about music.”
Here We Go Magic delivers a sound that’s difficult to categorize. Post-Indie Psychedelic Hypno-Funk? Pseudo-Folk Lo-Fi Electronica Art Rock?
Perhaps it’s best to let the band members explain it themselves. So how would Here We Go Magic describe its sound?
“I wouldn’t,” says Hale. “I would just give you a CD.”
HERE WE GO MAGIC
WHAT: Here We Go Magic, Caveman and Slumberjack
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday, May 20
WHERE: The Handlebar, 319 N. Tarragona St.
COST: $10 in advance, $12 at the door (21+); $12 in advance, $14 at the door (minors)
DETAILS: handlebarpensacola.com or herewegomagicband.tumblr.com