The Magic! is back. The multi-platinum reggae-pop quartet announced yesterday that a long-awaited second album, Primary Colors, is now set for a July 1 release, on Latium/RCA Records/Sony Music International.
Their challenge is, of course, to prove that the phenomenal success of early hit single “Rude” was no fluke. Two years ago, that track notched a six-week #1 U.S. Billboard Hot 100 streak, topped charts around the globe, and notched 878 million YouTube views.
Magic! is off to a very promising start this year via the success of new single "Lay You Down Easy," featuring dancehall reggae star Sean Paul. Warren Copnick, Director, Promotion Radio-Video/A&R at Sony Music Canada, tells FYI that "it’s following a similar trajectory in Canada to the band’s global smash hit “Rude,” setting the stage for another summer anthem for Magic! It’s had an incredible start at Canadian radio garnering #1 most added at all formats, CHR and HAC first week and #1 most added at all formats this week."
The track also scored a #1 debut on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Digital Songs chart and topped 1.3 million Spotify streams in the song’s first week alone.
The single, an Apple Music ‘Hot Track’ and ‘Best of the Week’ was dubbed “Another summertime smash,” by Idolator and placed on “Song of summer watch” by USA Today.
The latter publication wrote that "It may only be April, but the floodgates are opening in the race for 2016's Song of Summer. Thursday night in Los Angeles we heard Magic! play their new single, 'Lay You Down Easy', at Hotel Cafe – and guys, it's good... The new reggae-pop beat features smooth vocals from Magic! lead singer Nasri Atweh, and an assist from Sean Paul. Take a listen and try to hunt down a margarita, because is it summer yet?"
Primary Colors is a collection of original songs written entirely by the band, along with longtime collaborator and Grammy and Juno Award-winning producer Adam Messinger.
Magic! helped create a buzz for the upcoming album with a private showcase at a packed Hotel Café in Los Angeles last week, drawing a crowd of lucky fans and industry insiders. That followed the group’s debut at SXSW plus other showcases for Live Nation, the Grammy Awards and Perez Hilton among others.
The group certainly impressed a Billboard scribe at one of the SXSW gigs, and he wrote that "Canada’s Magic! was a few lines into the first verse of a slow-rolling, reggae flavored version of “I Wanna Be Sedated” at the Grammy Museum’s 40 Years of Ramones Tribute concert at Maggie Mae’s rooftop when frontman Nasri Atweh stopped the song -- as planned -- declaring “This doesn’t feel right.” The quartet then shifted into a floor-shaking traditional version of the song, during which Nasri hopped into the crowd an started a circle pit in front of the stage. Magic! was one of 18 acts who took part in the event. They also performed “Blitzkreig Bop” and debuted a brand new song, “Gloria,” that’s slated for the group’s sophomore album this summer. “We’re having so much fun here this week, just playing new songs and really enjoying the shows,” Nasri told Billboard about the group’s multi-show SXSW schedule."
Sony Music Canada confirmed to FYI that Primary Colors will be a “priority release.” To date, the group’s only announced upcoming dates are in the sunny locales of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Honolulu. Magic!'s LA-based label head, Charles Chavez CEO of Latium Entertainment, informs us that "our plans are to start a fall theater tour in Canada and then the US to support the new album. We are routing now."
Looking ahead to a second single, Chavez mentions "a song called 'Red Dress' that the label and tastemakers are pointing to but the audience usually decides pretty quickly when an album comes out."
Asked to describe the style of the new album, Chavez says "The boys stayed true to the reggae infused sound of bands such as The Police, No Doubt, and early Maroon 5. Pop, soul, reggae, and rock infused music. It sounds great."