Cuddle Magic was formed a decade ago in Boston by multi-instrumentalists Benjamin Lazar Davis and Christopher McDonald, who were shortly joined by Dave Flaherty, Alec Spiegelman, Kristin Slipp and Cole Kamen-Green. Throughout three full length albums, and especially in their live shows, the band showcases a uniquely focused and creative approach to pop orchestration. Cuddle Magic has been described as “dance-listening music” that unfolds in waves of vocal harmony, contrapuntal brass and woodwinds, dense wordplay, and overlapping rhythmic cycles.
As in-demand participants in New York’s musical community, members of Cuddle Magic have collaborated with a wide range of artists ranging from pop superstars like Beyoncé to critically lauded independent musicians like Anais Mitchell and Amanda Palmer, as well as with respected figures of the avant-garde like Fred Frith and Ran Blake.
Cuddle Magic’s fifth full length album, ‘Ashes/Axis’, is due out early next year on Northern Spy. The album was recorded and mixed at Trout Recordings with Bryce Goggin (Antony and the Johnsons, Swans, Pavement) and assistant engineer Adam Sachs.
DIY Magazine is hosting the premiere of the first single, “Trojan Horse,” which the band says is inspired by the music and culture of northwest Ghana. It was written by Davis alongside Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive, and was originally recorded as a full band, utilizing vibraphone, live drums, percussion, bass clarinet, guitar, keyboards and samples before most of the elements were stripped away during mixing. DIY writes, “Cuddle Magic might deal in subtleties, but they hit hard with every move. [Trojan Horse] is a dazzling insight into what makes the band so magic.”
“They love possibility in the popular song and are willing to go where new approaches are to be found…”
– Rick Moody – The Rumpus
– Brooklyn Vegan
“High-concept chamber-pop collective.”
– The New Yorker
“Channeling the full band arrangements of Sufjan Stevens with plenty of eccentricities lumped in.”
– Time Out New York
“…able to repurpose unorthodox materials to create music that employs a light touch, but is never lightweight.”
– Sequenza 21
“They love possibility in the popular song and are willing to go where new approaches are to be found…they are as tight as tropicalia, as rhythmically dexterous as prog, as melodically fascinating as jazz, but with a slightly baroque sense of counterpoint… They could easily be So Percussion, or Joni Mitchell, or the Bang on a Can All-Stars.”
– The Rumpus
“They’re prone to crafting songs built with mathematical concepts and graph paper that allude lyrically to Herman Melville, Vladimir Nabokov, Walter Benjamin, or James K. Polk, and compositionally to Steve Reich or Tortoise.”
– Philadelphia Inquirer
No shows booked at the moment.
Copyright 2014 Northern Spy Records