When we heard the first two singles from the album, we knew that Was Not Looking For Magic by Finland's Black Twig would be a special record. After all, "Black Cat" (link here) is one of the top songs for the year, sounding like it could have been undeservedly lost in the shuffle in a recording session in Glasgow for Teenage Fanclub, or perhaps in Dunedin for The Chills. "Devils Please Be Gone" (link here) swaggers effortless between blues rock and shimmering indie pop. Yet, the reality is that the full album surpasses our expectations. A band that first caught our attention for its appealing version of drone pop and folk rock -- reminding us at times of Velvet Underground, Black Rebel Motorcycle and The Jesus and Mary Chain -- now boasts a broad arsenal of shoegaze, jangle pop, folk, psychedelic and guitar pop. New influences supplement the old, with current comparisons tending towards Teenage Fanclub and Sonic Youth. Cue up Was Not Looking For Magic and you are treated to the shoegaze of "New Moon", the jangle pop of "Outdoor Blues" and instrumental "Puuhastelu", the moodier guitar pop of "Typical Winters Day" and "Walking Up A Hill", and the robust album closer "You Never Were Mine". And album opener "I Was Not Looking For Magic" is a perfect bookend companion for showcase track "Black Cat".
Black Twig are Aki Pohjankyrö, Rasmus Rantanen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Janne Vainikainen. Was Not Looking For Magic is out now via Helsinki's Soliti music.