Bay Area newcomer Drew Englander, also known as Real Magic, got his start in early 2011 when he recorded “No Things Left,” an experiment in which he layered his somber and heartfelt croon over a whirlwind of grimey electronics and breakneck rhythms. It was to be a jumping off point for Englander, as he continued to delve into the capabilities of his voice and songwriting.
His influences are as numerous as they are diverse, including vocal-harmony masters Simon and Garfunkel, singer/songwriters Johnny Cash and Elliott Smith, composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, and electronic artists Aphex Twin, Burial and Brian Eno.
What distinguishes this singer/producer from his sample-and-effects laden contemporaries is the surprising range and character of his vocals, which are featured prominently in the mix to create a sense of genuine humanity often absent from electronic music. Englander’s melancholy voice sits atop carefully arranged compositions of synthesizers, strings, guitars and twittering drum machines, leading the way through a soundscape that is dark and brooding, yet hopeful and triumphant.
Following his 2011 release with LA’s Heart Music Group, and subsequent features on Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan, Englander has been polishing his frenetic live show, opening for the likes of YACHT and School of Seven Bells, along with performances at festivals such as CMJ, SUNY Purchase’s Fall Fest, Goldrush and Westword Music Showcase. He released his Debut album “Deep Breathing” on March 12, 2013.