Jack Name today debuted his new single “Sacred Place” alongside its Salvador Cresta-directed video via The FADER, which described it as a “quietly beautiful new song…taken from his excellent forthcoming album.” Of the personal, delicate track, Name says, “Whenever I feel like I’m lost, or things are out of control, I can always come back to music. Music brings me back to life.” “Sacred Place” is the second single from his forthcoming third album Magic Touch, due out November 20th, 2020, via Mexican Summer, and follows “Karolina,” released earlier this month. The album is now available for pre-order.
In a time rife with alienation, Magic Touch offers the comfort of contact. While the album is every bit as intricate as his previous releases, 2014’s Light Show and 2015’s Weird Moons, here Name has done away with the dense production of his earlier work to make a record that feels stark, personal, and effortlessly natural. With Magic Touch, Name—a fixture in the Los Angeles underground who’s also produced recordings for Cass McCombs, collaborated with Ariel Pink, and been covered by U.S. Girls and White Fence—brings his lyrical and conceptual focus away from the dream worlds of his first two albums and back to Earth. It’s a simpler place, or so it seems, where humans are falling in and out of love, struggling with loneliness, reaching for connections to each other, and, for better or worse, affecting each other. The almost subliminal story arc of Magic Touch reminds us that touch itself is magic.
Recorded predominantly in Name’s Hollywood apartment with only a RADAR 24-track, even the production is an intimate affair, with a crystal-clear aesthetic that’s shockingly present— almost as if the band is playing these songs inside your head. And though the instrumentation is sparse, the theme of human-to-human-contact is underscored again and again by the tactile, unprocessed nature of the music, whether it’s Chris Cohen’s delicate drumming on “Dudette,” the fragile voice of Izella Berman on “Empty Nights,” or the elegant electric piano and clavinet performances by Kenny Gilmore and Will Canzoneri throughout the album. There are no synths, no effects, and none of the studio razzle-dazzle that Name became known for with songs like “Pure Terror” and “Running After Ganymede.” Here there’s just an analog mixing board and an ensemble of Wrecking Crew-level musicians from the upper echelons of the LA underground, playing parts that weave in and out of each other like ornate braids of sound.