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HomeVideoMagdalena Bay Brings Spunk Pop, Splendid Visuals to ‘Live From My Den’

Magdalena Bay Brings Spunk Pop, Splendid Visuals to ‘Live From My Den’

Magdalena Bay Brings Spunk Pop, Splendid Visuals to ‘Live From My Den’

Matthew Lewin and Mica Tenenbaum, aka the duo Magdalena Bay, bring to pop a spunk in both sonics and persona. In an interview for The Artists Den series “Live From My Den,” both these elements were on full display as the two recalled how they met, developed their music long-distance, then moved in together to create the debut album, “Mercurial World,” released in Oct. 2021.

“Glistening,” “uplifting” and “seductive” are all words that have been used to laud the group’s sound, which has made them not only a critics’ darling, but a much-needed antidote to the lockdown and constant downer that was the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were about to go on a couple of tours, which would’ve been our first tours, but that got canceled,” says Tenenbaum matter-of-factly. “The world had stopped in a way. … We just went home and were like, ‘Well, I guess we’re making an album. Let’s get started.’ It was made with this level of isolation and focus that I don’t know if we’ll be able to have again. … It allowed us the space.”

Adds Lewin: “It was also the first time that I wasn’t working my day job because I was furloughed from it and had all this time now to just focus on music. So we were 24/7.”

The world is the beneficiary of their isolation, as the end result is nothing short of terrific. It’s hard to believe the two started out jamming to Jimi Hendrix as teenagers.

“We started in a rock band together in high school that was progressive rock inspired by Yes and Genesis and King Crimson,” says Tenenbaum of their early influences growing up in Miami. A little later came along Radiohead, Fiona Apple and St. Vincent. “We fell in love with pop as we decided to write it,” she continues. “So we had this period of pop discovery going through more contemporary things like Grimes, Chairlift, or Charli XCX, but also discovering Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears and Madonna kind of for the first time.”

The dynamics of the duo, which posts videos on YouTube and TikTok adorned with retro graphics and completed with out-of-this-world outfits (on the day “Live From My Den” taped, Lewin wore a fluorescent green caterpillar-meets-alien-like getup while Tenenbaum sported the sort of tutu combo that Tinkerbell might embrace, both designed by Milagros Collective), make the world of Magdalena Bay the type of place you’d want to visit.

“I think we’ve been growing as visual artists as we’ve been doing stuff and learning and learning how to communicate with collaborators and creative-direct our vision,” Tenenbaum explains. “We love taking our music as a starting point and building a world around that.”

Hear more from Magdalena Bay, including performances of their songs “Chaeri,” Dawning of the Season,” “Secrets (Your Fire)” and “You Lose!,” on the latest episode of “Live From My Den,” made possible by Hard Rock and in partnership with Fujifilm.

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