Album Reviews

The Fantastic Imagination – Margaret is a Witch

Janie Cannarella / June 7, 2016

fantastic imagination cover artThe Fantastic Imagination

In one of my first solo apartments in my early 20s, I smoked a spliff and ate all of the strawberry ice cream from a pint of Neapolitan while watching The Sword in the Stone. The blending of all of those sensory experiences: color, taste, hyper sensitivity, laziness (whatever, I know it’s not sensory), melodious songs mixed with ethereal themes, worked to form this whole new sense that I struggled to recapture for the last decade.

It wasn’t I got the chance to listen to the EP from Philadelphia’s darling indie collective The Fantastic Imagination that I got a glimpse back into that airy moment from days of yore. Margaret is a Witch is what I think ancient druids would listen to if given access to today’s youngsters’ feel good party drugs. I would say that the vibe was winsome if the final results weren’t so grounded and solid. Lush soundscapes and mystical feels combined with sometimes surprising instrumentation dominate the entirety of the EP’s 20 or so minutes.

At times the arrangements border on prog’s tendencies to be finicky, but that’s easy to forgive when considering the atmospheric nature of the music. Meaning it fucking rules, and I can forgive persnickety and potentially gimmicky approaches in musical composition if the end results are this solid. At times fuzzy, at times psychedelic, in parts folk – who would have thought that such a brief burst of musical amalgams could encompass so much?

And I can’t be sure, but I swear to God, I think there might be a chorus of mermaids involved in this EP. Whoever is responsible for the haunting vocal harmonies should know that they are the aural equivalent of visual shimmers.

Attempting to further dissect this EP for its technical components would be a disservice to the work at large; all I can say is that it’s an EP that is born from that rare breed of talented musicians capable of following form, function, and aesthetic. It deserves your attention.

I haven’t been into the occult since I was in my teens, but Margaret is a Witch dispenses magical musical feels that make me want to greet the four quarters. This EP is available in digital format on Bandcamp, as well as in limited edition cassettes (oh hey, kitschy) so ride your unicorn over to that avenue of the internet and give it a spin.

 

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