December 21, 2020

Magic Dance began life in 2012 as a solo project for the American singer/songwriter/producer Jon Siejka and has now seen the release of three EPs with Remnants being album number four.

I’m not sure if Siejka has plans for Magic Dance to graduate to full band status but he does seem to use the same musicians so it could be a possibility. His early work was very much built on the sounds and rhythms of ’80s Synth-pop, now seemingly known as synth-wave, and calls to mind the work of bands like A Flock Of Seagulls, A-ha, Midge Ure and Alphaville but he has progressively introduced more melodic rock into his delivery. However, the ’80s synth driven music is a sound that Siejka still seems very much drawn to and remains prevalent in his work as seen perfectly on ‘Till Your Last Breath which begins with an early Depeche Mode type keyboard intro. The whole album is fresh and vibrant and Seijka has used all the latest studio techniques to create an album that is so redolent of the ’80s pop/rock crossover sound and, as a huge fan of ’80s electro pop, this is an album I could listen to all day.

The songs are all upbeat, gloriously optimistic and hook laden so that you cannot help but be drawn along with the music and is guaranteed to give you a good time. The album very much has one foot in the melodic/AOR camp which broadens its appeal as it cranks up the power and introduces layers of perfectly executed guitar riffs and breaks whilst still retaining that pop underbelly that is the overall driver. Remember, this is a style and sound that worked so well for Asia, 90125-era Yes, early Toto and Survivor so Magic Dance is in good company and the material here is every bit as relevant as that from these rock giants. Jon Siejka supplies vocals, guitars and synths and brings in a host of guests with long time colleague Kevin McAdams on drums and sax courtesy of a person simply called Gdaliy. Bass duties are shared between Kevin Krug, Gabor Domjan, Luke Anderson and Emanuele Moretti with various guitar solos performed to perfection by Tim Mackey, Ziv Shalev and Stelios Andre. Jon Siejka has a great voice and I wonder if he feels as if he is a man out of time and this album and previous ones too would have been most favourable received in the early ’80s. Luckily, there is a huge nostalgia market so those who remember the pop and rock music of that time will find much here to enjoy whilst the younger listener will appreciate a well written collection of pop /rock songs that are very easy on the ear but adult enough to supply the needs of the more discerning rock fan.

Remnants is a perfectly executed rock album with great performances, strong songs and a solid production job, all you need to do is listen and enjoy this immediately accessible and fun album


Remnants track list

  1. Oh No (4:43)
  2. Long And Lost Lonely Nights (4:25)
  3. Zombie Breath Surprise (3:40)
  4. Cut Me Deep (4:30)
  5. When Your World Comes Down (3:49)
  6. Change Your Life (3:36)
  7. I’m Still Holding On (4:23)
  8. Changes (3:44)
  9. Restless Nights (4:43)
  10. ‘Til Your Last Breath (4:16)
  11. I Can’t Be The Only One (3:49)