Memory Tapes – Seek Magic [2009]

November 16, 2009


Album post #13.  “I wanna give you my love, I wanna call you names / but at the sound of my voice, you turn away.”  Intimate and obvious lyrics like this one from Track 3, Green Knight, of  Seek Magic might not work but for the way they are sung and the effects applied to the vocals.  Throughout this debut album by Memory Tapes, Dayve Hawk’s voice is kept at a distance, and in many ways it is upstaged by the music.  But putting the words in the background actually gives them more meaning.  In stretching his ears to hear the far away vocals, the listener is drawn in and becomes part of the music as a tidal wave of dance beats, warm chords, and honey-sweet key and guitar riffs rush in (see 5:30 of Stop Talking).  A short phrase may call up a memory that is quickly washed over by a new musical layer; thoughts ramble and soon each song becomes intensely personal.

Every track on this album has two or three unexpected layers that provoke another listen.  This layering is done with great care and patience through some very smooth transitions.  The various layers are used to express contrasting emotions and allow the listener to eperience them simultaneously.  Drum machine-induced euphoria can coexist with sad wistful memories evoked by mellow guitar tones and echoey vocals.  Instead of being unforgettable these songs are haunting, which is perhaps Hawk’s intention (by naming his band Memory…), for that is the way most memories work.

All but Track 4, Pink Stones, can be listened to on this youtube playlist.  (I recommend going to the Memory Tapes myspace to listen to Pink Stones; it makes me feel like I’m exploring an ancient submerged Chinese city).  Also, Memory Tapes posted FREE DOWNLOADS!! of the single, Bicycle, here, and CD2 of Seek Magic, Treeship, here (source: Memory Tapes blog).

source: pfork



  1. This is nice

  2. Oh, and I love the art

  3. You write well. Keep it coming.

  4. Good find. Bicycles is a solid song. I still hate you for seeing the Dirty Projectors tonight… And where’s my song about sponge painting the town? Haha… I keep trying to find it online with no luck…

  5. I’m liking that bicycle song. It’s got a quality to it, no doubt. Thanks for posting dude

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