Folks might remember Aaron Betcher and Chad Peterson from their long-running band O'er the Ramparts, a confounding project that seemed to be going in several directions at once. But as scattershot as the music was, there were moments of artistic clarity, and they've resurfaced in the pair's new project, the Magic Mice. A charmingly whimsical air surrounds the Mice's songs, which could easily be compared to those of Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips and even the quieter sections of Robert Pollard's catalogue. What sets the group apart, however, is the unflinching introspection that darkens what is otherwise breathy, ethereal music. Ultimately, the Magic Mice (due at the hi-dive this Friday, February 29) write the kind of songs that are pleasing and safe on the surface, but linger with you like memories of vivid, enigmatic dreams. The outfit's gentle guitar jangle and uplifting mood are sure to be an enchanting cure for the languid atmosphere brought on by winter's freeze.
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