Thursday, July 29, 2021

Magic Finger’s Debut Album is a Valiant Effort and a Breath of Fresh Air

The new album, ‘I Guess That's it On Happy Endings’, from Long Island indie rockers, Magic Finger, is here just in time for the summer, and it’s guaranteed to fill the air with reverb drenched, laidback vibes. 

Citing influences such as The 1975, The Strokes and King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, the four piece’s latest 9 track effort is an amalgamation of styles including laid back pop, and slightly heavier indie rock. 

On first impression this is a solid debut album; well produced and thought out, it is clear a lot of thought has been put into the arrangement of the tracks. With all members of the band taking vocal roles, it is a breath of fresh air to have a variety of voices carrying us through the album, and also avoids repetitiveness.

Kicking off the album is ‘Laid Off’, a quintessentially summer song. Dreamy guitars laced with heavy reverb, paired with some snappy drums and noteworthy bass riffs sum up wanting to ‘waste time’ this summer with a special someone. This track is a strong opener that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It also includes a lovely spacey crescendo around the 2-minute mark that is definitely worth the listen.

‘Something about the Moment’ is the perfect definition of a coming-of-age banger. Its upbeat delivery paired with some punchy vocals make this one of the strongest tracks on the album. Catchy lead riffs dominate this song and make it the ideal song to blast on a summer’s day whilst on a long hot drive, or booming out of the speakers at an outdoor festival.

‘Water Sounds with Cars’ is one of the heavier songs from the album. Mostly bass driven, with hard drums and some commanding vocals it chronicles how fast time can fly, stating: “I’m scared of seasons changing / I don’t want these weekends fading by”.

This song encapsulates the feeling of time slowly passing by without us noticing, and reminds us to make use of every spare second we have.

The mellow and sweet ‘Heartache in Vain’ is my personal favourite from the 9 tracks. Some smooth reverb-soaked backing guitar and a steady beat provided by the drums bring us back to a more leisurely pace after the slightly heavier previous tracks. This time sung by Margaret Engel, she elegantly reminisces about how things are so very different when we look back at them, “One day we’ll laugh about today / our silly past somehow seems to fly away”. Both lyrically and sonically this song embodies that age old proverb that ‘If it won’t matter in 5 years time, why worry about it now?’.

Reverting to the louder instruments ‘The Ballad of Cowboy Colin’ is a slightly confusing track. Apart from a repetitive heavy guitar repeating throughout the track, it lacks any real sonic direction and feels rather clumsy. I salute the effort to produce a more experimental track, but this song unfortunately feels like it is constantly tripping over itself trying to find direction. 

‘Bunnies’ stays heavy in terms of production, but is cleaner than ‘The Ballad of Colin the Cowboy’ with much more of a sense of direction. This track is very reminiscent of early blink-182, heavy production mixing with jovial, comical lyrics. This song makes up for what the previous could not, and puts the album back on track.

By the penultimate track ‘Stairs’, we get the sense that the album is starting to wind down. Keeping at a nice steady pace, this track dives slightly deeper, touching on topics such as anxiety and self-identity. With some really raw and emotional vocal harmonies in the chorus this is for sure a song you want to sing at the top of your lungs with your friends.

I really love the lyrics to the chorus as they touch on these topics, “When you lay on the roof and you stare at the stars and you pray to God that you know who you are”. These lyrics truly enrapture the feeling of not really being sure of your self-identity. 

A soft Ukulele is joined with a box drum, maracas and a commanding bass guitar on ‘Thoughts on Love and Climate Change’, as it softly rounds off the album. Margaret Engel ironically gives this album a happy ending as she rather beautifully proposes to an assumed lover “The world is burning outside / I would melt with you any day of this life'.


With strong production and no fear to experiment with different styles, this is a valiant effort at a debut album by Magic Finger, and the time and effort poured into this 9 track LP is clearly evident. 

Dan Jones

@DanJonesNews @danjones_98

Image: ‘I Guess That's It on Happy Endings’ Official Album Cover (PRESS)

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