The American pop duo Mica Tenebaum and Matthew Lewin have been making music together since they were teenagers. Their early music was prog rock. Now in their mid 20s and under the name Magdalena Bay, the pair contributes to a maximalist-pop space shared with artists like Grimes and Caroline Polachek. On their new album, Mercurial World, the band explores this space even deeper by using vaporwave and early internet aesthetics that clash with their futuristic sound.
One of the songs on their album where the best pieces of the Magdalena Bay puzzle come together is “Something for 2.” The song reads like a poem an angsty teenager would write then lock in a drawer. The narrator confesses that after “two years of dealing with her…I’ve had enough.” But the subject of their love is also someone who has made the narrator a better person. Tenebaum sings, “Been sweeping all the corners of My mind but it wasn’t all I’d do for you.” But has that effort into making themselves better been worth it? The chorus admits “We could build something for two or burn it down instead of you keeping me out.” Perhaps it just isn’t meant to be.
Sonically, “Something for 2” is one of Magdalena Bay’s more tame songs. The synths zip and zap under mildly distorted vocals, making it a perfect introduction into a great band. If you want to go deeper down the rabbit hole, their song “Chaeri” is a powerful evolution of “Something for 2.” And If you don’t jive with any of their tunes, their website mercurialworld.com is a fun space to dink around on as well.