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ALBUM REVIEW: JR Wicker - Weird Magic

Inspired by the songwriting greats such as Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, Atlanta-based JR Wicker creates music with lyrical meaning and artistic depth, blending a wide range of sonic atmosphere's on his debut album 'Weird Magic' to showcase the plethora of musical inspirations and personal experiences that have fed into the record.

This contrast of sounds can be felt immediately as the first two tracks showcase very different musical palettes. The opening track 'Burnt' invites you into an otherworldly spectrum of electro textures as ethereal vocal lines swirl around you in the intro before opening into a synth-led groove filled with a futuristic, celestial aura somewhere between the 'her' and 'Submarine' soundtracks.

Subsequent track 'Darkness' is filled with a different energy all together, diving into an Indie Rock world with retro guitar tones and a much more natural, raw vocal style than in 'Burnt'. This track really highlights his guitar talents as moments of flair ignite the otherwise steady rhythm and slightly Baroque Pop esc instrumental melody with a sharp, shredding intensity. The layering of these guitar lines towards the end of the song makes for a really immersive experience.

The album follows the style of 'Darkness' more closely, often leading with guitar lines and upfront vocals yet the overall listening experience is a cinematic one, occasionally finding moments of curious introspection like in 'Window' or moments of heartwarming, Folk atmospheres in 'Glass' which really show his Leonard Cohen influences.

Speaking on writing the album, Wicker stated: “I really find the creative process incredibly cathartic...Whenever my life has fallen apart whether it has been via divorce, depression, anxiety, or even a kind of questioning who I am or what matters in life, creativity is there to help you through it. You don’t have to wear a suit in creativity’s church. You won’t be judged.”

This creative freedom is acutely apparent, both thanks to the aforementioned range in atmospherics but also the instrumental variation and emotional sentiments that you can feel throughout the record. There's so much to take in on these 8 tracks that we can't help but love the diversity and depth.


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