Anyone who has seen Cuddle Magic (or just heard the music) knows that their creative songwriting, compositional techniques, blending of genre influences and vocal and instrumental harmonies are worthy of the utmost praise — you get it, right? I’m a huge fan. If you are not familiar with Cuddle Magic, get smart. Go buy their records. Vinyl is better than CD, which is better than MP3, but at the very least, buy digital.
Cuddle Magic played at the Cat in the Cream on Nov. 4, bringing along an opening band, The Daredevil Christopher Wright. The Wisconsin-based trio, with quirky, somewhat nonsensical jabbering between songs, also showcased impeccable three-part vocal harmonies. At some points, the group’s vocals were reminiscent of the Byrds or Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and at other times ventured farther from its folk roots into a more indie style. The Daredevil Christopher Wright’s performance included complex instrumentation, with the three band members switching instruments often, and all band members singing, yet they remained completely unfazed. While there were some problems with pitch and disappointing lyrics, The Daredevil Christopher Wright captured the audience’s attention — and capturing the attention of an audience waiting for Cuddle Magic is not easy to accomplish.
There was no greater treat than hearing Cuddle Magic play at Oberlin for its third time in the last year. On stage, Cuddle Magic looks like a close-knit community. The band members know their roles — and it shows. They dressed like Oberlin students, but with the look of a band that has been on the road many times together.
Cuddle Magic mostly played songs off its most recent release, Info Nympho, as well as a few favorites from its previous record, Picture. It is tough to pinpoint what exactly Cuddle Magic does that makes the band such a delight. Is it the band’s poignant, emotional and engaging lyrical skills that grab our attention? Perhaps it is the fact that it’s clear from Cuddle Magic’s performances that the band possesses an indescribable quality that emanates from the music, penetrating the listener.