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- Loss Molecules
MP3 Album 2016 | Silber 231
6 tracks, 31 minutes
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify | Order on vinyl
~ Delusions of Adequacy
Magnetic Ghost draws from a variety of genres – from shoegaze, post-punk, kraut rock, freak folk, drone, post rock, & many others – resulting in it’s own unique brand of rural psychedelia inspired by the beauty & isolation of open spaces & the creeping anxiety of the human drive to fill those spaces. The vast snowy plains of Minnesota are waiting to swallow you alive until you will sleep every night, every day, forever.
: Press Release
: Digital Booklet
Vanish / Vanishing
Sleeping Is Believing
Total Eclipse of the Sun
Shoegaze is a tricky genre for me. It can either be engaging or trigger laughter. What Andrew Larson has done with Loss Molecules is definitely in the engaging end of the spectrum. It’s big, it’s burrowing, it’s expansive and I feel like I need a broadsword in my hand. Possibly I need a kilt. An Asian guy in a kilt. Why not?
Larson says this about the project: “The result is a unique brand of rural psychedelia inspired by the beauty and isolation of open spaces, and the creeping anxiety of the human drive to fill those spaces.” I like that he describes it that way. The “creeping anxiety.” Ain’t that the truth.
Loss Molecules has been with me all this week. We went to space, the mountains, and out for the morning surf. It travels well. Especially if the journey is inward. And I don’t mean that in some cockeyed way. It’s nice to drop away, let the bottom drop out and just ponder, no decisions or big conclusions to come to. But you might find a solution in the drone. Set the depth to whatever level you need.
Loss Molecules is a damn near perfect meditation, but Larson doesn’t require you to do so. It’s a solid daily soundtrack, too. Awake or asleep.
What I need is a way out of the tight coil I end up in at the end of some days. Don’t you feel that way? Loss Molecules does the trick.
~ Stephen Chow, Scallywag Magazine
Magnetic Ghost’s “Loss Molecules” feels like a transmission from a wholly different time and place. With a rural psychedelic flavor that at times recalls a cleaned-up version of Flying Saucer Attack there is something particularly potent about their delivery. Their eerie guitar tunings and embrace of uncomfortable atmospheres also harkens back to early discordant Sonic Youth albums. Easily the most striking aspect is the stark terms with which Magnetic Ghost delivers their message. An intimacy exists throughout the album and informs all within it. Vocals add to this sense of togetherness merging perfectly with the stately arrangements.
By far the highlight of the album is the gorgeously executed opener “Vanish/Vanishing”. Within this singular piece Magnetic Ghost go from No Wave to Krautrock to psychedelic rock. Everything comes together with the greatest of ease as they sprawl out majestically. The song pierces the heart with such passion. Offering something of a respite from the tension of the opener is the soothing waves of “Medicine”. Continuing down this subdued path is the dream pop of “Gand Canyon”. Delivered with a shoegaze verve is the uneasy spirit of “Sleeping Is Believing”. Over the course of this piece the song comes in and out of focus resulting in a blurred kind of beauty. Another highlight emerges towards the end with the rather satisfying catchy work of “Landfill”. Closing the album off on a surreal note is the romanticism of “Total Eclipse of the Sun”.
Quite lovely Magnetic Ghost’s “Loss Molecules” stuns.
~ Beach Sloth
This was a nice surprise to have appear in one’s inbox! A series of beautifully arranged compositions which let the mind stretch out and wander, never once wondering where it’s going but just knowing there’s something to be discovered. Magnetic Ghost is the project of one Andrew Larson and concerns itself primarily with open spaces and our strange need to fill them.
Years and years ago I lived on a farm and every morning was what I’m hearing here. The empty horizons, the stark silences and the remote isolation which can drive a person mad… for some other reason I keep getting the visualization of fields lying fallow before they are gradually irrigated and then put to work.
Sparse guitars which at times collide into one another punctuate his words which are more incantations than any sort of lyric I’ve heard. Then again, he’s the one orchestrating all of this so perhaps he sees something the rest of us don’t. For me this one of those records where loud volume and a massive sound field are absolutely necessary, you don’t want to try and compress what’s going on here by confining his music to computer speakers or casual perusals in the car. “Medicine” is certainly a contender for perfectly encapsulating what Magnetic Ghost are hoping to achieve. His vocal harmonies mesh together wonderfully while low lying bass and primal percussion keep the show moving.
While going over these six tunes again and again what struck me is how much attention has been paid to where individual notes go and what kind of mood they impart. He definitely spent a lot of time refining each one of these. “Sleeping is Believing” is a powerful study of raw field recordings riven by delightfully unpredictable waves of feedback which then evolve into a gently soothing lullaby. ‘Loss Molecules’ is absolutely an end of night sort of affair. You don’t begin your evening playing this one oh no; it is the feel of your lids drooping and rising subconscious tides encroaching to envelop you that this release exemplifies.
By no means is this a tranquil collection of wallflower tunes, they are vast and timeless creations meant to fire your imagination on every level. Each time I play through Andrew’s material a flood of images charges at me and try as I might I cannot process them all.. a few slip through and are never the same ones. “Landfill” is driven by muscular riffs which push and shove their way to the foreground and then are subsumed by pretty chains wrought out of both his voice and precisely placed drum beats.
I’m sporting a ridiculous grin while blaring it currently, odds are those who check this out will also.
We unfortunately run out of songs with “Total Eclipse of the Sun” closing this ode to barren, deserted land splendidly; a waltz which transforms to becomes a celebratory cascade of harmonic bliss while continually sneaking diverse elements in as it winds down. I felt like some of these were the edits and that longer versions do exist which have yet to be released so I checked out his site and would you look at that? He has more coming and it promises to be an even bigger aural canvas, let the countdown begin.
~ Peter Marks, Santa Sangre
Out of the great open spaces of the Midwest comes Magnetic Ghost, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based project of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andy Larson. In the tradition of hypnotizing lo-fi acts like Low and Flying Saucer Attack, Magnetic Ghost haunts the senses with droning, expansive, and looming compositions that veer from quiet contemplation to incendiary intensity in a matter of seconds. Larson is set to touch down with his album Loss Molecules this coming November.
Larson incorporates all sorts of genres into his mesmerizing soundscapes, from shoegaze and post-rock to alt-folk and psychedelia. The 6-track album was self-recorded at Magnetic Mansion, recorded and mixed with Neil Weir at Blue Bell Knoll, and mastered by Cooper Crain. Larson sings and plays guitars (including 12-string and baritone), drums, and loops/delays/effects on Loss Molecules, sounding like a full-bodied band.
Epic opener “Vanish/Vanishing” starts forebodingly with simmering cymbals, a repeatedly thumbed guitar line, and slowly thumped drums before bursting out with a brief cycle of burning guitar distortion. Larson materializes with layered and winding vocal chants, intoning droningly, “I will sleep every night / Every day / Forever.”
Sharp, but lighter guitar lines lift off from his incantation and then evaporate into the menacing cycle of drum hits and deep guitar reverberations. Against the steadily treading pace, angular guitar lines swoop by, as well as Larson’s hazy, sometimes wordless vocals. Near the end of the track, he harmonizes through the words, “Nothing is created or destroyed / The energy changes forms” and then a sudden spark ignites a grind of flaming guitars.
The lament “Medecine” is filled with hymn-like imploring vocals from Larson. Strummed-to-picked acoustic and electric guitars and a hint of cymbals and drums form the backbone of the song while Larson floats over the mix, shadowed by a mirroring vocal line. At times, the scrape and saw of off-key strings rub up against the more fragile and reflective nature of picked acoustic guitar.
Lead single “Grand Canyon” is a slowly building torcher that begins with a subdued strummed acoustic guitar line and Larson’s lightly echoed, wistfully downcast vocals. It sounds like he’s singing in an abandoned cathedral while sustained backing vocals support his gentle musings. Approaching-storm sonics culminate quite quickly into vividly glistening guitar lines that stir with a cycling motif and then merge into a dissonant union.
Larson gingerly steps into the vast void on “Sleeping is Believing”, a slowly unfolding nightdream (or nightmare, depending on the ear’s tolerance for detuned sounds) of sustained noise and Larson’s extended, searching sighs. The lo-fi, unhurried “Landfill” churns with a discordant, My Bloody Valentine-like guitar warp and woozy vocals from Larson. He’s backed by clacking strikes of wood and a thick drum beat.
The low-key number “Total Eclipse of the Sun” wavers with bright, globular, synth reverb, a hushed glimmer of synths diffusion, and Larson’s vocals, which he drops on the instrumentation in a deliberate, sing-song manner. A profusion of bending guitar lines tangle with each other as the song progresses, creating a chiming to noisy jumble that eventually fades away…
~ Jen Dan, Delusions of Adequacy
Minneapolis shoegaze band Magnetic Ghost is gearing up to release their new album, Loss Molecules, Nov. 18. The LP was recorded with Neil Weir at Blue Bell Knoll, who also mixed the album. Cooper Crain handled mixing duties.
Featuring six new tracks, the album is a trippy, atmospheric journey into the mind of Andy Larson - who is the brainchild behind the band. Singles include "grand canyon" and "vanishing/vanishing," both of which have calming videos filled with serene landscapes. Check out the video for "grand canyon" above. Pre-orders for the new album are available now. Those who pre-order will also get a special surprise, according to Larson.
Andrew Larson is the hypnotic voice and sound behind the music of Magnetic Ghost. It began as a record imprint, which evolved into a multi-dimensional solo project and finally transformed into a fleshed out band on record. Larson plays a number of instruments on the record, including guitar, drums, bass and synth. Magnetic Ghost's sound is a culmination of shoegaze, folk, drone, post punk and psychedelia.
~ Ashley Perez, AXS
Magnetic Ghost create a powerful form of indie / noise / drone rock with Vanish / Vanishing, the first effort off of their November album “Loss Molecules”. The track builds up a disturbing and haunting fuzz that is further bolstered through smart use of repetition and haunting, ethereal vocals. Fuzz is used to provide further ambiance to the opening track; by the time that Vanish / Vanishing completes, listeners will be firmly on the edges of their seats.
Grand Canyon is a track that begins with Magnetic Ghost’s approximation of indie-folk before moving into a more experimental sound. The arrangements benefit from a road map laid down by Magnetic Ghost – there seems to be an overarching goal that each guitar line and vocal contributes to.
Sleeping is Believing is a high-water mark on the Loss Molecules LP. Everything is immediately ratcheted up to 10; the distortion fights with angelic vocals for dominance. While there is considerable dissonance to this track, the skilled hand of Magnetic Ghost is such that an engrossing effort is the end result. The journey which listeners will be taken is tremendously engaging. While the effort is twice the length of many radio tracks, listeners will be surprised at how quickly the track goes by. There are so many nooks and crannies to this composition that fans will have to play the track multiple times before hearing everything that is presented. Total Eclipse Of The Sun is the concluding effort on the Loss Molecules EP, a track that feels miles away from the rest of the fare on the album. There is a carnival-esque sound that is achieved here, an otherworldly sound that is a must-listen because of the vocal crooning and Spartan guitar work that comprises the background of the track.
~ James McQuiston, NeuFutur
A disclaimer should preface this review insofar as the albums particular blend of melancholic-drone is liable to cause hallucinations and a general euphoria to those on the brink of falling asleep or high as a fucking kite. In other words, ‘Loss Molecules’ is a trip. Good or bad, that is up to the listener entirely.
Minnesota, the home base of Magnetic Ghost and its creator and jack of all instruments Andy Larson, (who has contributed his talents to Vocals, Guitars, 12 String Guitars, Baritone Guitars, Drums, Loops, Delay and all additional effects) has been quoted from his bio to being inspired by the beauty and isolation of open spaces, and the creeping anxiety of the human drive to fill those spaces.
True to his intent, Larson has created an album that follows the general theme of a finality, around endings, around anxiety, and even death. The listener is greeted at the outset of the first track “vanish / vanishing” with a low rumbling bassline that seemingly melts into forever, accompanying the entire track from beginning to end. If there is a break in there the wailing ghoulish vocals take up the slack with a compounded foreboding feel.
The rest of the tracks on ‘Loss Molecules’ follows the common theme, with only “landfill” touching briefly on a more upbeat tempo, albeit still featuring the low tones that populate the majority of the offering.
With two months to go until the official release date (11/18/16), the album is available in full on Soundcloud to stream now, and while it isn’t for everyone, there is an exceptionally wide audience of listeners who will feel right at home in their semi-depressed states.
The album is best enjoyed staring into the infinity that is the album cover. It has a certain je ne sais quoi to it.
~ Scott Alexander, Abort Magazine
Hailing from the vast midwestern expanses of Minnesota, Magnetic Ghost is the brave and distorted musical brainchild of Andy Larson. By blending a wide array of genres like shoegaze, kraut rock, post-punk, drone and freak folk, Larson etches out a haunting niche for his daunting project. Functioning initially as a record imprint, then as a multi dimensional solo project in live engagements, to full band arrangements on record, Magnetic Ghost has flourished into a dynamic and multi-faceted musical entity and is now ready to unleash his newest release entitled Loss Molecule.
Loss Molecule is an insidious six track EP that will certainly capture the attention of long-standing Magnetic Ghost fans and newcomers alike. Loss Molecule is a creative and rugged display of unique sonic textures. As the life-force of Magnetic Ghost, Andy Larson is an immensely talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. Larson is credited as the vocals, guitars, 12 string guitars, baritone guitars, drums, loops, delay and effects, proving that the Minneapolis native takes an astonishingly holistic approach to his music production. Furthermore, Larson had an all-star cast to help him bring this project to life. Loss Molecules was recorded with Neil Weir at Blue Bell Knoll and by Magnetic Ghost at Magnetic Mansion, mixed by Neil Weir and Magnetic Ghost at Blue Bell Knoll, Mastered by Cooper Crain.
Magnetic Ghost’s brand of rural psychedelia is inspired by the beauty and isolation of open spaces, and the creeping anxiety of the human drive to fill those spaces. With this wide-ranging view in mind, Magnetic Ghost vividly captures the tension of this peculiar duality with six powerful tracks. The lead single, “Grand Canyon,” is a perfect example of Magnetic Ghost’s mesmerizing qualities. Dulcet, acoustic guitar builds menacingly into a glistening climax coupled with Larson’s morose vocals. The accompanying video does a stellar job of adding visual substance to this gritty track.
My favorite track of the Loss Molecule is the powerful ballad “Vanish/Vanishing.” Like “Grand Canyon”, “Vanish/Vanishing” is made all the bolder by it’s appropriately sculpted music video. A menacing reminder of how mankind can adulterate the lush paradise we have been given, “Vanish/Vanishing” is a truly moving piece of multi-media art.
~ Jabari Kefele, Sensible Reason
Magnetic Ghost is the sonically haunting experience which emanates from the creative soul of the one and only Andrew Larson.
This Minneapolis based shoegaze, post punk, alternative soundscape painting rocker has managed to create the ultimate master opus for the documentation of the human species incessant need to fill voids, for mostly peculiar reasons.
Specifically wide open spaces…many of them which individuals like you and I cherish as the natural beauty we are blessed to experience on this planet we call Earth.
With that said, I present to you Rural Psychedelia. I dig it!
Excuse me while I return to enjoying the rest of my night jamming the laid back, goose bump inducing, mind-zoning-out but still provoking profound thoughts music of Andrew aka Magnetic Ghost.
Has anyone else noticed how Minnesota produces so much amazing, independently-fueled music..from all genres?!
~ Joshua Smotherman, Middle Tennessee Music
Magnetic Ghosts have a certain type of slacker sound, the kind of sludge-filled buzz that invokes a Low or early Sonic Youth record. And like those bands, Ghosts have a tendency to loop their sounds over and over through repeated chords and searing riffs.
Their latest album, “loss molecules,” packs in a lot of heavy sounds within it’s six song track list. The opening track “Vanish,” evokes a certain amount of Radiohead behind brainchild Andy Larson’s vocal work. The guitar lines also add a great touch to the piece, with breakdown halfway through being a definite album highlight.
Overall, loss molecules is a strong album that babbles on for a bit too long. A lot of these tracks try and go for a shoegaze vibe and there certainly are a lot of genres on display, but the album doesn’t explore each sound fully to really leave an impact with it’s listeners.