Album review: Magic Arm – Images Rolling

Magic Arm - Images Rolling

Magic Arm - Images Rolling - Credit: Archant

An understated, rough gem of a record – that would hug you if it could – shows that sometimes, patience is a virtue.

Four years on from his debut, Manchester-based songsmith Marc Rigelsford returns with another salvo of folksy fare struck through with a sense of adventure.

From opener Put Your Collar Up’s whirring organs, bleeps and pulses offering up steampunk psychedelia to You Have Won’s layered vocals (redolent of Fleet Foxes) dressed with percussion snaps and piano, his experimental bent has reaped him his most cogent and tuneful results yet.

The loping piano, glowing synths, warm brass and swooning melody on Warning Sign is oddly comforting, like aural serotonin, while the sad strings and harpsichord informing the march of Great Life could be the best song ever written by a clockwork toy.

Not every track hits the mark, but the majority are understated triumphs from the kind of mind that records trumpet and violin in a stairwell, or plays wilfully detuned piano.

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A warm, hazy and sometimes heavy-lidded record with the odd episode of bright-eyed clarity, Images Rolling is one to watch.

3 stars

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