‘You said you’d die for me, so why can’t you live for me’
Gently guiding us in with a melancholic guitar and a voice that could out-husk the bark of the sturdiest Chestnut Tree, 'On Your Side' - the debut album from Magnet (aka Even Johansen) - starts as it means to go on; with gorgeously-crafted songs that envelop the listener in their sublime musical magic, right up until the very last beat softly shudders from the speakers. Irish warbler Gemma Hayes makes a guest appearance on the bone-achingly sublime cover of Dylan’s 'Lay Lady Lay'. The pair sing you into submission and their voices complement each other so beautifully that you have to stop and wonder if, maybe, somewhere in the music of the spheres, there really is a God.
There are hall-of-mirrors glimpses of more obscure artists such as Múm and Sigur Ros in this prism of tweaking, noodling prettiness. Add to the rainbow Even’s vocals skimming the surface of deep guitars and more conventional instruments, and you cannot help but agree that 'On Your Side' is an approachable yet unique debut in an otherwise overcrowded genre of copyists and not-so-fly-by-night opportunist mediocrities.
8Sara Lovejoy's Score