The Magic Gang have always felt a bit like a band plucked from another time. That's not to say there's anything dated about them - they've always been lemony fresh - but more their use of melody has a timeless purity that defies the grubby underbelly of trend-chasing movements and algorithm baiting facsimiles.
With their debut album, they soared high - peaking just outside the Top 10 at a time where bundles of enthusiasm weren't regularly scoring high chart placings for bands of this parish. Their follow-up, 'Death of the Party', is an evolution - a maturing of their craft. A record packed with soul and ambition, edges smoothed, ideas sharpened.
There's a genuine warmth to the brassy, bright 'Make Time For Change', a tale of self-love and betterment away from the scroll of the feeds. In many ways, it's a rallying call of the whole record. "You reap the benefits of what you sow," it proclaims, ahead of what's going to be a "big year". While the latter might be on hold, the sentiment holds true.
'Take Back The Track', all hand claps and hip shakes, is The Magic Gang at their very, very best. Swaying and crooning at one point, strutting and nodding at the other, it's a wholesome signature from a band who know exactly who they are. There's nobody else that would offer up anything like 'Think' - an ode to cool thoughts and sure minds that can't help but raise a smile, or the slow burning, heart-string tugging 'The World (Outside My Door)'.
'Death of the Party' isn't an album about endings, it's one more concerned with beginnings. A statement of intent, of a desire to improve, do more, be better in both ourselves and to each other. In an angry world reaching boiling point with each new set of headlines, it's a message that fits The Magic Gang well. As everyone else rushes by, they're a band who take a moment to stop and consider. We should cherish them for it.