When it comes to OG status in a stratified zone like post-rock, it doesn’t get much colder than being signed to Mogwai’s label. The fellow Scotland four-piece Errors are responsible for a couple well-liked electro-brushed post-rock records with a bright, danceable demeanor. Unlike their labelheads, Errors have always seemed willing to make colorful, pretty things – floaty, low-stakes dance-rock. In a world of Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and (yeah) Mogwai, it’s a mighty noticeable difference.
So Have Some Faith in Magic is a departure then. In the sense that it only moves Errors further from the center of the post-rock game. A wider berth of crystal-strewn synths, fuzzy, soda-pop atmopsherics, and even a serving of obfuscated vocals – it may not be the most powerful music in the world, but there’s no doubt that Errors are the sole-proprietor of this sort of mystic, carefree pop.
The best songs they build come when they get out of their own way. “Barton Spring” forms around a submerged, metallic clank – the reflective keys and choral vocals filling in all the gaps. The emptied “Canon” is a pensive interlude, doleful basstones touching base with moody wooden percussion, worthy proof that it isn’t all just hedonism. But the best thing here is still probably “Pleasure Palaces,” at six minutes it might be the purest pop song Errors have ever composed; a polychromatic keyboard fizzle arpeggiating over a Balearic winter wonderland. It’s rich, it’s composed, but it’s mainly just beauty – a perfect encapsulation of what Errors can do for a field whose primary acts favor a furrowed brow.
There are moments where Magic reflects the same sort of otherworldly magic that the earnestness of classic Super Nintendo soundtracks did. Sure the stripped-down synthisizers help, and I’m not claiming that Errors have a prehistory playing a lot of Chrono Trigger, but the clear-eyed chemistry hits the same charm. Or at least it mostly does. There’s a lot of stuff in between the highs that, while still nurturing the same great sounds, leave the song structure by the wayside. As it stands they make a great foundation setting up the big moments, but it unfortunately makes Magic a bit of a passive listen.
But honestly, you get the sense that passive might be what they’re going for. Errors have built a subdued and often gorgeous album with very little that needs deciphering. Sure you can’t call it seminal, but Errors’ egalitarianism is pretty damn lovable.