Magic Island is one of the side projects of the mysterious and prolific acid folky Damien Youth. In Magic Island, he plays all of the instruments except piano and writes the music, while singer Robyn Nice plays piano and writes the lyrics. Like Damien Youth, Magic Island shows the influence of late-'60s and early-'70s British folk-psychedelia, particularly from Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, without sounding embarrassingly derivative. Whether due to Nice's lyrics or not, Magic Island's vision is darker, more depressing, and more lethargic than Damien Youth's solo outings. Still, it's not downright gloomy or hopeless, and it is melodically pretty, even if the gauzy atmosphere and disembodied words sometimes give the impression of someone falling into a narcotic haze. Their 1999 CD, Small, was recorded and mixed in three days, though it sounds more effectively produced and arranged than many albums that take ten times as long.
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