words by Lindsay Hopkins + photos by Johnathan Ball
The soulful experimental group Young Magic, hailing from Brooklyn, NY, consists of vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Melati Malay and Isaac Emmanuel. Young Magic has released three albums to date, which unfold the group's raw intimacy with each subsequent album. Still Life is Young Magic's latest album that serves as a deeply personal exploration of Melati's identity and her roots on the island of Java.
Young Magic played The Observatory in Santa Ana on Friday night as the last stop in their tour with Yeasayer, which has been running since the beginning of May. The group played some of their most popular songs off of earlier albums, but Still Life was the focal point of the evening. Young Magic's employment of strong percussion and soaring pop instrumentals allowed the music to speak for itself, but Melati's deep emotional connection to her lyrics shone through her vocals and beautifully-vulnerable presence on stage, which gave tremendous power to the group's performance. Isaac accompanied Melati with impressive displays of intricate percussive beats, guitar, and occasional vocals himself. A true instrumentalist, Isaac proved his artistry on stage and his ability to captivate an audience. Overall, Young Magic had an incredible performance Friday night.
Young Magic Photo Gallery