Craft Spells | Gallery

Captured Tracks (2012)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  May 15, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

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Craft Spells certainly live up to their name on this six-song EP, with the charm of its effortless, pixie-light production and the warm, plangent harp sounds of their major-key melodies. One can imagine that the trawled-up sunken treasure of their vocals and the wet splashes of their NorCal synths come from a group of amateur conjurers holding it down at a cool-fi beach party. "Still Left with Me" is an up-tempo enough opener here, pleasantly harmonious with perky electro-drums and plucky keys, but never more than just that — pleasant. "Warmth" pits out-of-tune, boy-next-door vocals against a backdrop of repetitive bass patterns and sequenced percussion. "Feels like a paradise," sings vocalist Justin Vallesteros. But it really feels like 1986. The songwriting picks up with a stand-out track "Sun Trails," which really has the best of all worlds — style, groove, a memorable hook, and most of all, fun. But, being retro, Craft Spells risk predictability— after all, since it's already happened, we know how it's going to end.

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