Single Review :: The Magic Numbers – The Pulse

The latest release from The Magic Numbers as a preview of their upcoming album.


The Magic Numbers

The Magic Numbers © The Magic Numbers

Returning to their harmonious, country and vaguely indie rock roots, The Magic Numbers return with their latest single “The Pulse”. Also featured on the track are sneak previews of two songs from their upcoming album The Runaway scheduled for release later this year.


With a sound that made them traditional cult heroes with their debut album The Magic Numbers in 2005, the group was being hailed as the new champions of the folk and indie fusion that was sweeping the scene at the time. Through no fault of their own, The Magic Numbers were never truly able to conquer all who unfolded before them and by the time their second album, Those The Brokes was released in 2006 they had all but solidified their status as cult favourites and little else more. The true extent of this is the fact that they are currently still touring the country in a vague attempt at promotion for the album that debuted almost four years ago. However, with the prospect of the new album on the horizon, it would seem the band are preparing to stage somewhat of a comeback.

“The Pulse” itself is as interesting a single as the group could muster to release. A typically layered folk ballad, the soft, kindly spoken lyrics and vocals of Romeo Stodart encompass the listener within the fairy tail world that the band paint so very well in almost all of their songs. Coupled with the harmonic, almost spiritual backing vocals of the rest of the band, as musically sound as “The Pulse” is, there just seems to be a lack of kick and any real depth, or dare it be said, point to the song as it wistfully continues without ever really reaching a climax. Standing at almost five and a half minutes also means that listeners cannot really avoid the song, willfully waiting for an end that never really comes.

The other songs included on the single release, “Dead Mirrors” and “This Isn’t Happening” offer a much more focused return to previous form for the band. “Dead Mirrors” has a haunting, celtic quality, Stodart and his sister Michele coupled with percussionist Angela Gannon on vocals evoke the wonderfully crafted images. It is also worthy of note that a deep lineage of an almost country root running through the song. Drums from Sean Gannon pulse throughout the song evoking the image of galloping horses across a starry-lit prairie, sending a tingling shiver down the listeners’ spine.

“This Isn’t Happening” is much more of a single and suspected album filler track, the probable product of studio time spent that did not wish to be completely wasted. Once again the musical ability is without question, Stodart’s vocals here show particularly good range but the overall track once more feels like it lacks a purpose and direction. Its combination of a quiet ballad opening with a more up beat, more typically indie feeling chorus and second half feel clumsily put together that gives a less than convincing disjointed feel to the song. The thrashing symbols and drums also sound out of place, drowning out the remaining percussion and guitars at points which, coupled with the repetitive nature of the lyrics do not do much for the band or their product.

Overall the release of The Pulse is in general a good enough release to tease fans and occasional listeners of the band’s work. However it is greatly hoped that these songs are merely samples and not an overall representation of the album as a whole. That would be majorly disappointing as it would fail to spark the initial enthusiasm and pleasurable enjoyment that led to The Magic Numbers’ success. The single is on general release from 31/5/10.

Jonathan Whitelaw


Check out the band’s official website. The single is also available for download from itunes: http://www.themagicnumbers.net/

2 Responses to “Single Review :: The Magic Numbers – The Pulse”

  1. a very successful site. Also very revealing article. Thanks to the contributors.

  2. Pretty says:

    Ann, take The Magic Numbers mp3s here, The Pulse(!), hurt so good, forever lost etc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.