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Feels and Jams and Grooves OH MY with The Werks - Magic

I swear the further down this jam scene rabbit hole I fall, the more I am discovering things that I never even knew I liked. There is so much to discover once you step outside your comfort zone and it seems the further I wander from that zone, the more open my mind is to sounds, vibes, and audible journeys in general. There is just so much to discover. I have not gotten to see much of it live yet, but that is something I am working to remedy as much as possible this summer. I am delving into festivals. I am told there is no better way to truly experience this scene until you live it for a few days. For a girl used to dark and dirty New York City clubs for her music fix, this is a daunting yet deliciously exciting prospect. More on that later. I don't want to talk about camping.

Let's talk about The Werks.

Normal reviews will go into how these gents come from the great state of Ohio and are inspired by yada yada yada and I just don't really do that. Let's instead talk about the feels. I happened upon The Werks via the hubs not long ago and started dabbling in their music here and there for the last few months. I was immediately fond of the fact that despite their very rock underbelly, the songs were infused with so many other elements and flavors. The first song I checked out from them when I decided I needed to was The Answer off their 2015 album Inside a Dream. It was this beautifully melodic dance trip through a rock song. Its a song you can sing along to while you are shaking what you got with this occasional building punch to the feels. That was it. Hooked.

Fast forward to now and I am finally getting the chance to sit down and immerse myself in their new album, Magic. Magic it really, truly is. This record is a journey. It's a heavy grooving, soul reaching, poignant and romantic wandering. The writing is simply fantastic. It's a true statement of talent when a band can move your body and your mind in the same moment and that is truly what this record is. It has all the musical elements that make great songs, but there is so much soul and feel in every movement that you can't help but stop midway through a song and just feel. There are incredible bass grooves, guitar solos, drum perfection, and keys to blow your mind. The vocals are harmonious and soulful.

The song Moving On struck me right away with its steady trucking groove and really fun vibe. It has this feel of freedom and carefree joy that just permeates your skin and makes you want to hop in the car and drive anywhere. I love the percussion. I love the way all the guys each link up periodically through the song in this playful sync up that gathers and spaces and gathers again. They keys are so cool and they play games with the drums while the bass and the guitar push the whole song up to the rafters. If you are listening to this song and standing still, I really don't know what to do with you and we probably can't hang out.

I usually like to sit and work while in the process of really digesting a record. I work in finance, so I am punching numbers into a computer all day and can often be seen with my headphones on, essentially dancing in my chair. If it's filing day, forget it. I am in front of stacks and stacks of cabinets having my own private dance party. This line of work makes it easy for me to really sit and take in an album. While there is so much groove on this record, there were so many moments where I had to stop absolutely everything I was doing and just breathe in what I was feeling. I stopped typing, I looked away from my screen, and I was in it. Deep, deep in it.

I love music when it does that. It stops you in your tracks and makes you feel.

Where there are words, they are soul-stroking and full of meaning that carries you along with the vocals. Where there are no vocals, the music is carrying you through brambles of emotion that you seem to be able to feel with every pluck of a guitar string. There is a wonderful electronic element to the record infused with the keys. There are so many styles to The Werks that they cannot be easily categorized and this album is such a glowing example of that. I think that is something great about being called a "Jam Band". You are so free. I think The Werks really personify that concept with their blends of styles and ability to take you from point A to point B on so many different roads. This is a really multifaceted album from beginning to end. I can't recommend it enough.

Essential Listening:

Wide Awake - This is my new favorite song. No lie, no exaggeration. I have had it on repeat for about the last hour. Did you ever listen to a song that makes you think some sort of spirit came to you while you slept and pulled your emotions right out of your soul and then wove them into a song? That is Wide Awake. It's so soulful. The vocals on this song an beautiful too. I love that reggae groove. It's slight and gentle. Perfect. I'm obsessed.

Magic - I have often said that title tracks have their own high set of standards as they are some abstract representation of the album by their name. This song is no exception to that unspoken wrong. It's lovely and inventive. It's got a marching beat that layers with a steady groove and these harmonious vocals. This song would honestly be at home on mainstream alternative radio.

Compares to You - Whoever inspired this song is amazing. I love the temp changes in this song. It picks up from romantic and lovely to body moving grooving and trucking and then goes back again. Try and stand still. I dare you.

Pop on over to their website and you can get a full rundown of their upcoming dates and festivals including Peach and The Werk Out. They are doing a Phish after party at American Beauty in NYC during the Bakers Dozen, and that is my backyard. I am thinking I might just have to be there myself. I an officially a fan.


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