The Magic Numbers - A biography
The Magic Numbers are returning to our hearts and homes this winter with the eagerly awaited follow-up to their 2005 self-titled debut album. The Magic Numbers earned them double platinum status in their native UK, Mercury Music Prize & Brit Awards nominations, a Mojo prize for Best New Act, and prestigious support slots with U2 & Brian Wilson. Despite rapid success and an ever ravenous fan base at home in Britain, The Magic Numbers were a continued presence in America in 05/06, never missing a festival - they performed critically lauded sets at Coachella, Bonnaroo and SXSW - and touring with the likes of Bright Eyes, Feist, The Flaming Lips & Sonic Youth. The New York Times called The Magic Numbers "one of the year's best rock albums" and the band were taken enough with the US of A to choose upstate New York as the location for recording their follow-up.
Now, with their sophomore release, Those The Brokes (Capitol Records; February 20), singer/songwriter Romeo Stodart delves deeper into his exploration of human interaction as he grapples with issues like desire and temptation in what is a beguiling and emotionally raw album. With little sister & bass player Michele and vocalist/instrumentalist Angela Gannon emerging from the shadows to deliver spine-tingling lead vocals along with their signature gorgeous melodies, Those The Brokes is even warmer, more intimate and lush than their debut.
Renowned for their sweet, pop perfected tunes, The Magic Numbers are one of life's special anomalies. Seemingly springing from nowhere, the band took the UK by storm, providing a uniquely sunny alternative to an otherwise pretty homogenous music scene. Their smiling faces on the cover of the often po-faced NME was a particular breath of fresh air. Of course, it was the songs coupled with their joyful live shows which earned them the euphoric devotion of fans. Very quickly The Magic Numbers managed that coveted maneuver of being loved by indie rock aficionados and middle-aged whistling postmen alike; hardly surprising considering their music harks back to the likes of classic pop bands like The Beach Boys, The Lovin Spoonful and The Beatles.
Those The Brokes includes the band's first experimentation with strings, most notably on the waltzing, complex "Boy". A nine-piece orchestra was arranged by Robert Kirby, the man who handled the strings on Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left and Bryter Layter. "Undecided", written and performed by Angela, is a stand-out track complete with stunning lead vocal that melancholy country queen Emmylou Harris would be proud of, while "Take Me Or Leave Me" allows Michele to step away from her bass playing duties to sing one of the most heartbreaking vocals you've ever heard. This album has its share of toe-tappers too, namely the debut single, "Take A Chance" and opener "This is A Song" while one of the album's gems, "Slow Down (The Way It Goes)", almost hidden in the middle of the record, perfectly showcases the impeccable timing, flow and congruence that only two sets of siblings could master.
Once again, The Magic Numbers, have produced an album full of soul; a classic in every sense.
Those The Brokes was recorded at Allaire Studios in Woodstock, NY and Olympic Studios in London.
The Magic Numbers are -
Romeo Stodart - vocals/guitar
Michele Stodart - bass/vocals
Angela Gannon - melodica/vocals
Sean Gannon - drums