Magic Kids belong to the legion of young artists sucking inspiration from '60s pop—Phil Spector's horn-and string-laden symphonies, two-minute Brill Building paeans and the Beach Boys' harmonies.
The band's full-length debut from earlier this year, Memphis, takes its name from the band's hometown, following up on a pair of buzzworthy singles ("Hey Boy," "Superball") and channeling endless summer with bursts of sugary, hook-heavy enthusiasm.
Unlike twee predecessors Belle & Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens, these Kids avoid sad-sack malingering, bolstering good vibes with belligerently uptempo beats. The sextet's twentysomething members confess that they're as prone to jaded cynicism as the rest of their generation, but their lyrics swell with schoolboy innocence: "Everyone needs music you don't have to be ashamed that it makes you happy," says singer and guitarist Bennett Foster. "If it makes you happy, that's all I need."