After finishing school, New England Conservatory of Music graduates find all sorts of ways to collaborate together: orchestras, recording sessions, chamber music, etc. Members of the indie band Cuddle Magic met while studying at NEC. They’ve taken the classical chops they honed in Boston and brought them into a hybridized chamber pop scenario that owes as much of a debt to Steve Reich and Moondog as it does to Beirut and Animal Collective.
Now based in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, Cuddle Magic is preparing Info Nympho, its third CD, for release on FYO Records. It combines classical instrumentation with a penchant for 80s keyboards (including the vintage Casio seen in the video below), whimsical toy instruments, and honey-sweet vocal harmonies.
Much of this is captured in the close-miked immediacy of apartment recording. But the band has also been recording at Old Soul Studio in the Catskills, enlisting the help of toy pianist extraordinaire Phyllis Chen (video below). They also guested on Chen’s recent Uncaged Toy Piano Festival. Both Chen and Cuddle Magic are able to re-purpose unorthodox materials to create music that employs a light touch, but is never lightweight.
Courtesy of the band, here’s a free download of album track Moby Dickless.