Mysterious synthwave trio Magic Sword nods to electro-pop legends | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Mysterious synthwave trio Magic Sword nods to electro-pop legends 

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click to enlarge Magic Sword

Magic Sword

Zach Anderson

For more than a decade, pop culture has witnessed an explosion of 1980s sci-fi and horror revivalism in both music and film with dark electro-pop acts such as Kavinsky and creepy period dramas such as Stranger Things garnering cult followings. Amid the nostalgia, an anonymous, instrumental, Boise-based synth-rock trio named Magic Sword has carved its own stylistic niche. Its members—credited as the Keeper of the Magic Sword, the Seer of All Truths, and the Weaver of All Hearts and Souls—take as much inspiration from John Carpenter as from Daft Punk to create a funky, metallic, ominous soundtrack to their own comics-inspired canon. On stage, the trio adorn themselves in cloaks and colorful LED masks (which remind me of Squarepusher’s Shobaleader One project), with flickering strobes, vibrant stage lights, and light-up novelty swords setting the mood around them. A week before Halloween, Magic Sword released a new LP called Awakening, whose triumphant title track segues from a squealing, saxlike synth lead into epic, distorted melodies, a moody downtempo section, and a clean guitar groove that recalls Nile Rodgers on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” This is going to be a fun one.   v

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