Album Review of Automagic's Another Blind Day

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Written by Evan Vikovski

Automagic can best be described as a loose conglomeration of several multi-talented creatives that came together in Taichung, Taiwan in the year 2011. Eight years later, their first and only self-released album entitled “Another Blind Day” came to fruition. 

Singer/songwriter Megan Dooley provides the vocals and lyrics for most of the album, while Naoise Cazenove polished, produced, and played the majority of the instruments for the final product at his studio in Taipei. Nick Chong graciously gave Automagic a place to record the first inklings of the project in Taichung and had a hand in the early studio sessions. Other artists also collaborated over the course of the creation, including Dooley’s now defunct side project Tricolor Tree Leaf. Such is the life of a band of traveling gypsy musicians and wanderers.

The result is a 10-track album that spans several genres and periods of life with storytelling and harmony among the chaos. A labor of love that encapsulates a penchant for eclectic experimentation, “Another Blind Day” has elements of folk-rock, funk, metal, blues, and everything in between. It’s a spectacle, it’s a rough around the edges audio experience, and it’s a rollercoaster ride all in one.

The opening track, “Clown Clock the Time Keeper” welcomes the listener to the show with a mad cackle and ticking clock, followed by sweeping guitar riff distortion, a single verse from Dooley and the scat stylings of a madman.

Following up, the title track is more conventional but still versatile. The production stands out on the album with piano and rhythmic flourishes. There’s an almost trip-hop feel to the track and as it fades out, the completeness melts away into “Mr. Ripley” matching the energy of the previous song, but with more haunting subject matter and a chilling keyboard riff to top it off.

A more vulnerable side to the Automagic sound is exposed in the next few songs on the album, with more personal lyrical stylings on the ballady “Sanctuary,” cute and folksy “Little Red,” and break-up anthem “Bye Bye,” featuring an extended outro with a lovely bombastic chorus of horns.

Out of all the tracks, “Love 2 Strange” is the most polished and also the only song to feature vocals other than Dooley from Cazenove, who had this to say about working on the album: “Like Memory to a Mind, these songs serve more than just a music project taken up, it was a period of life expressed and recorded through music. Although I admit the production quality is rough around the edges, it has a charm of the somewhat chaotic life that the personnel endured over the 7 years of brewing. On each listen, the tracks act as a time portal to that space, I feel the listener will be able to find at least one or two things that are relatable. Maybe not now, but in times gone past when they were in their 20’s , being young, saying goodbye, not knowing about the deeper aspects of life, being blind, and engaging in dark notions within the mind.”

Turning things up a notch is the alt-rock “Young Forever,” which is a suitable ode to the good old days and the nostalgia that a project like “Another Blind Day” brings about. Next up, the production style changes with “Chased,” which takes a more psychedelic turn with the vocals and screaming guitar.

Closing out the journey, “Wild Conquistador” feels like a departure from the rest of the album, but still fits as the finale. It runs a couple minutes longer than the rest of the songs and the structure gives the listener more room to breathe. The space it creates has a Primus meets Tool, bigger kind of sound compared to the rest of the songs that have a tighter feel to them.

The timeline and circumstances behind the production of “Another Blind Day” make it a unique project that gives us a window into the twists and turns of the creative and collaborative process it takes to make music come alive.