Superficial is a new single from Magazine Gap, an alternative pop-soul band based in London. The song is supposedly the “sister song” to (and filmed in tandem with) another release, titled For the Ride. We’ve covered releases from this trio a few years ago, and it’s great to see that these guys are still going strong.
As far as this latest release goes, if I look hard enough I can usually find something worthy of praise in just about any recording, but in this case I don’t even have to look at all. The music is flawless from start to finish by nearly every objective metric. The guitars stand out immediately as being very precise, and you can hear every note in its delicious detail. “Tone” is a subjective element, but the guitar tone on this track is warm, and soulful. It achieves what most guitar amp enthusiasts and tinkerers would characterize as “the holy grail of vintage tones.” The vocals are also outstanding, probably the best singing I’ve ever heard from what is technically an “indie” band. The vocals don’t sound stereotypically British to me though, which is interesting. If you heard this song randomly you might actually assume this was an American band. (I personally would never have guessed that two of the members apparently grew up in Hong Kong.) Like the guitars, the keyboards’ elaborate melodies are meticulously performed, while the drums provide a clean and light rhythm to serve as the backbone of the song. Topically speaking, Superficial is a sentimental jam which deals with themes like relationship honesty and transparency. The lyrics are laid out in a simple and “matter of fact” fashion (“Let’s put it out there baby, and set the record straight” is an actual line from the song). All in all, Superficial qualifies as another stellar release under this band’s belt. These guys are true music professionals.
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