Magic Number – Badly Written Songs

Well, the wait is now over, it’s now here 20 years after his first LP ‘That Day‘, Magic Number is back with a bang with his sophomore offering ‘Badly Written Songs

Although his last release was some time ago, the next instalment from Magic Number is upon us. Thankfully, the new album, ‘Badly Written Songs’, will make the long wait seem worthwhile.  Magic Number is Ross Hillard, a down-tempo and orchestral composer whose engineering and bass playing can be experienced throughout an array of releases. Amongst others, these feature Louie Vega, DJ Spen, Kerri Chandler, Lay-Far and Atjazz.

‘Badly Written Songs’ is, of course, a tongue-in-cheek title. It comprises a carefully structured and well-produced array of songwriting, topped and tailed with live instrumentation, commanding vocal performances and high-end production: the result of years of sound engineering and music production experience. Since the last album, Ross Hillard has continually honed his skills whilst earnestly crafting this sophomore long player. As well as developing a range of audio plugins, Ross also manages recording sessions at his own Paddocks Recording Studios: huge live spaces boast cutting-edge technology, integrated with distinguished analogue kit. The studio is complemented by a collection of prized microphones, together with a fully-restored vintage Raindirk mixing desk.

The opening track and first single from this album is the positively-anthemic gem entitled ‘Good Morning Sunshine’. It tells a forward-looking story promoting the merits of getting back into the driving seat of life. It’s propelled further by superb jazz-inspired drums and live horns that build up to an exhilarating crescendo. Featuring the vocal talents of Sophia Marshall, the story she paints is supported by a wonderful, darkly humorous cartoon video. An animated cadaver hilariously acts out her notions of positive living.

Other tracks also destined for a single release include: ‘Loving You’. It’s a song written around love lost. A bouncing house composition lays the foundations for Sophia Marshall’s beautiful vocal that narrates the many facets to be found in loving another person. ‘Better’ again echoes jazz-inspired drums behind Sophia’s vocals, drawing attention to how so many people are lost on their devices, missing out on the awesome world around them. A catchy chorus chants the notion behind this song, i.e., that you ‘could be better!’ This single is also supported by another fantastic video featuring the same comical, deceased character introduced through the ‘Good Morning Sunshine’ video.

On the album’s title, Ross explained: “The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to how transient electronic music can be. Thus, writing songs in this genre might not have been the most sensible and sustainable idea”, he laughs. “But we all love house music, so we put everything into it, hoping that people don’t discard it too soon. And if they do, we just have to remember that we undertook a great journey in producing it”, he concluded.

And so Magic Number’s non-stop musical work, in tandem with evolving jazz composition skills, brings us to this more sophisticated rebirth of Magic Number. ‘Badly Written Songs” is out now on Atjazz Record Company and available through all leading streaming and download sites.

Magic Number’s recent Interview at > Who Music Magazine <