Piano Magic – Closure

Album Review by Will Fitzpatrick | 12 Jan 2017
Album title: Closure
Artist: Piano Magic
Label: Second Language Music
Release date: 20 Jan

All good things must come to an end. The sort of cult band you’ve either taken for granted, or simply remained oblivious to throughout their lifespan, Piano Magic’s twelfth album will also be their final one, and what a way to bow out. The elegiac grace that coats this aptly-titled record has always clung limpet-like to Glen Johnson’s forever-in-flux collective, demonstrated most beautifully here by the soothing balm of strings on closer I Left You Twice, Not Once, as though trying to ease the blow of the final notes we’ll ever hear from a band who deserved more than relative obscurity. 

Their post-rock origins remain obvious in the textures that bind these sparse, subtle songs together – never giving in to the temptation to do anything so ghastly as rock even when smothering the title track’s chorus in howitzer guitars. It’s Johnson’s voice that takes centre stage, however (clear, plaintive and inviting, as though the ghost of Grant McLennan had dropped by to give some pointers), and as he explores the concept of closure through relationship breakdowns – painting the very notion as mythical, unattainable – you ponder why the time is apparently right for Piano Magic to call it quits.

At a time when their contemporaries are all celebrating 20-year anniversaries, it’s typical that this band of standalone misfits should choose to use theirs as a final flourish.

Listen to: Closure, Landline