Parannoul: After The Magic [Album Review]

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After The Magic
Topshelf Records [2023]

The Fire Note headphone approved

After The Magic is the third studio album by South Korean shoegaze musician Parannoul. The album is a more mature and refined album than Parannoul’s previous work and easily their biggest and most rocked out record to date. The sound is still dreamy and atmospheric, but there is a greater sense of focus and purpose. The songs are more complex and textured, and the Korean sung lyrics are more personal and introspective.

The album opens with the track “Polaris,” which sets the tone for the rest of the album. The song surprises you with an acoustic guitar beginning before filling your speakers with an expansive wall of instruments that holds up the shoegaze tag proudly. The lyrics are beautifully written and the music is hauntingly beautiful.

“We Shine At Night,” is an even more sprawling song about trying to remember the good times. The song is full of reminiscing and the struggle to relive those spectacular nights in your head. As the music moves, so does the powerful vocal melodies before screaming at the top of their lungs in its conclusion. The rest of the album continues in this vein, with each song filling the air with passionate singing and exploring different aspects of dreams, wishes and hopes. The album is a true journey and is a testament to Parannoul’s talent as a songwriter and musician especially on its big blow out moments like the rocking “Arrival” and upbeat “Blossom.”

One of the things that makes After The Magic so special is Parannoul’s ability to create a sense of atmosphere. The album is full of lush soundscapes that transport the listener to another world. The guitars are powerful and transcending, the vocals hold your attention regardless of the language, and the drums are perfectly placed to create a sense of rhythm and momentum. After The Magic is a truly special album. It is a masterpiece of shoegaze, and it is a must-listen for fans of the genre.

“Arrival” / “We Shine At Night” / “Blossom”

Spiritualized / The Smashing Pumpkins / Ride

Official Website | Instagram | Bandcamp | Topshelf Records

Thomas Wilde

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