Review: Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?

Majical Cloudz: Are You Alone?
8/10


Since their debut album in 2013, Majical Cloudz have become one of the most interesting names in the Canadian indie music scene which has seen the likes of Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett rocket to global success. With their relatable and comforting electronic indie pop, Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto's Majical Cloudz have managed to bring out another beautiful, emotionally powerful, minimalist album that again takes them to another level.

Are You Alone?
is a collection of songs about depression, loneliness and love, sung in a somewhat monotonous voice, accompanied by mellow electronic melodies. The emotive lyrics paint a picture of somewhat naïve, even childlike purity of love and hurting. Throughout the album, the theme of loneliness keeps coming up, but despite its melancholic soundworld, the album provides a sort of calming relief that assures the listener that they are not the only ones feeling alone.

Despite the simplicity of the melodies, the lyrics are full of melodrama, so typical of naïve romance, and it is hard not to draw connections to The Smiths' over-the-top, black-and-white expression. Like a more modern version of 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', 'Silver Car Crash' proclaims: “I want to kiss you / inside a car that's crashing / and we will both die laughing”. The extreme unconditional devotion to friendship and love in songs like 'Downtown' (“If it ever goes wrong / I'll write you into all of my songs”) and the album closer 'Call On Me' (“I am your friend till the end of your life”) is, however, not in any way laughable or ridiculous. In fact, they are feelings familiar to everyone, and Are You Alone? takes you straight back to your teenage years.

While the individual songs on the album all work, and the album overall is comforting and beautiful, there is little variation between the songs, making them hard to remember even after several listens. The songs are still powerful enough to intrigue and affect the listener - even if the pattern is similar across all of the songs on the album - and there is no doubt that Majical Cloudz are on the verge of brilliance.