Magic Kids belong to the legion of young artists sucking inspiration from '60s pop -- Phil Spector's horn- and string-laden symphonies, two-minute Brill Building paeans and the Beach Boys' harmonies. Last month's full-length debut, Memphis, takes its name from the band's hometown and follows up on a pair of buzzworthy singles ("Hey Boy," "Superball"). The album channels endless summer and bursts with sugary, hook-heavy enthusiasm. Unlike twee predecessors Belle and Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens, these Kids avoid sad-sack malingering, bolstering good vibes with belligerently uptempo beats.
The sextet's 20-something members confess that they're as prone to jaded cynicism as the rest of their generation, but their lyrics swell with schoolboy innocence. "Everyone needs music you don't have to be ashamed that it makes you happy," says singer and guitarist Bennett Foster. "If it makes you happy, that's all I need."
Watch the Magic Kids play "Cry With Me Baby" in someone's backyard, while actual (nonmagical) kids cry, laugh, color and watch.