LA duo Magdalena Bay played at Fortune Sound Club on September 28, 2022. This was the second night of their two-month tour of North America in support of their latest album Mercurial World.
They opened their set with “Secrets (Your Fire),” which is a banger of a track. I drove the people in my house crazy singing its catchy af melody at top volume. Lucky for me nobody paid any attention when I shouted along at the venue. And lucky for the people I live with that I got it out of my system.
Lead singer Mica Tenenbaum was a joy to watch, slinking and twirling on stage in a very cool dress. Matthew Lewin, the other half of the band, was busy alternating between bass and guitar. I appreciated the chunkier rock sound of the guitar that replaced synths on the studio versions of the songs, particularly the breakdown at the end of “Chaeri”. For a hot second, it almost felt like I was at an arena rock show.
In between songs the band engaged in banter with Chaeri (yes, same as the song). She manifested on screen as a disembodied 3D head, replete with shitty animation circa 1997. Chaeri is an AI that is learning what it is to be human by listening to secrets. Fans were encouraged to leave voicemails with their secrets, and a selection of them were played for her so that she could progress on her path to human-ness. My personal favourite was the guy who has mystery bowel issues but is too embarrassed to tell his doctor–”every time I get close to telling him I quickly change the topic to something else.” Bless.
Opening for Magdalena Bay was another LA-based artist Neggy Gemmy (formerly Negative Gemini). Her glossy but decidedly left-field electro-pop was a solid pairing with the main act.