Magic Dance – New Eyes
Magic Dance take nostalgia in a fresh direction on New Eyes by intentionally undermining the importance we attach to the canon of influence. If you ever go back and watch hours upon hours of MTV from the mid-80s, as I am prone to do, the usual suspects are alive and well from Madonna to Bruce Springsteen. Buried in-between countless airings of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the purple tinted world of Prince are the less glamorous working bands of the era that were quickly dismissed as tastes changed. If you came of age in the 80s, you probably listened to the Cutting Crew, The Hooters, or Mr. Mister at some point. While the production techniques seem hopelessly out of touch with today’s popular music, the songwriting holds up incredibly well if we are being honest. Magic Dance are the first band bold enough to channel these influences into modern pop and pull it off flawlessly.
Magic Dance was born in 2012 on Long Island, NY as a solo project for singer/songwriter Jon Siejka. On New Eyes, Siejka takes his sound deep into the realm of album-oriented rock with ten articulate tracks. The production style captures the sound of a boom box blasting a Top 40 station in 1986 with reverb-gated drums that punch through the layers of guitars and synth. Opener “You’re Holding Back” cries out for a montage scene in a Karate Kid film while closer “New Eyes” evokes images of a high school dance in a straight to video 80s teenage romance. This shouldn’t work but Siejka’s genuine love for this forgotten sliver of 80s rock pulls you deeper in with each listen. It wouldn’t take much to shift the sound towards more hip influences from the 80s but we already have the new Muse record for that. Magic Dance have pulled off something far more interesting.