Cuddle Magic hit the Bowery Stage to bring a dreamscape of music. When I reviewed Ashes/Axis, I noted the vision-inducing indie production as an album to hear when you want to feel alive by feeling dreamy. That notion was amplified by a concert that felt like a firecracker to my soul by bringing stars to my mind.
It is a curious dynamic to feel enlivened by music meant to be tranquil. In concert, Cuddle Magic’s folkish- lyrics droop over the crowd like a purple haze of which their instrumentals and synths feel like a spell. The calm of their sound is fascinating when in contrast with the quaking demeanor of lead singer, Benjamin Lazar Davis. There was not one song that did not leave his head shaking and body vibrating as if music was being pulled from his soul. No matter what track, even romantic songs like “Kiss You” or the twilighted “Round and Round”, Davis rocked back and forth from head to toe as if it were a rock n’ rolll anthem being strummed from his humble guitar. The fiery contrast between his constant movement and the stillness induced by Cuddle Magic’s music only elevated people’s attention to the stage. You wanted to see Davis bond with the music or observe the operatic notes of Kristin Slipp, whose vocals on Ashes/Axis are beautiful but live are gorgeous. You really grow impressed by her range and almost ethereal stance by her keyboard, which, again, comes in contrast with Davis’s motions. Still my favorite part of their concert is their spontaneous jam session mid-audiene floor.
Suddenly, the band jumped of the stage and the crowd parted like Moses had divided the Red Sea. As they made their way to the middle, people hushed in wonder. While I have seen bands before jump into a crowd and even run up to balconies and serenade fans, it was exciting to see one, literally, play their concert mid-crowd; no microphones, just their voices and instruments. It brought a celestial sense to their music by making everything simple. While you would expect singers to belt more if a microphone was gone, the crowd was silent enough to hear the lullingly soft harmonies between Slipp, Davis, and fellow vocalist Alec Spiegalmen. His voice also shares in their capacity to make you feel like you are lying into a song like one would a comforting bed. I elaborate this jamming moment because how fulfilling it was for the crowd to have such a spontaneous, intimate moment with Cuddle Magic. Everyone loves when the invisible wall between the stage and the audience is broken, and only music is shared between the two. Yet, there was another highlight to the night with the wonderful duet between Lazar Davis and headliner Margaret Glaspy. Their stunning cover of Josh Ritter’s “Temptation of Adam” brought a new level of sentimentality/ spirituality to a song that already was abundantly thoughtful. Thus, For a concert to feel settled into you mind, I would recommend Cudlde Magic.
Cuddle Magic builds an ambiance that is not just welcoming but also effortless. You fit into their presence and music with an easiness that is comparable to a warm blanket covering you in a cold night. Their sounds and aura are the warmest of blankets for any cold heart and mind that needs a good hour to dream and feel refreshed. In addition, they were filming through a “kissing booth” for the their newest single “Kiss You”, which is a lovely track, for you, to be excited for its release. For More Information On Cuddle Magic Click Here.