Hypnotic debut from Mancunian duo

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Score 4

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George – The Magic Lantern

When she’s not collaborating with the likes of Arbol and Piano Magic, singer Suzy Mangion writes intimate torch songs with multi-instrumentalist Michael Varity. Recorded at their home studio in south Manchester, The Magic Lantern starts with a lush vocal harmony, then proceeds to take the listener on a slow waltz through 60 minutes of late-night laments, melancholy folk ballads and fairground instrumentals. One minute Mangion sounds like Joni Mitchell crooning over a Wurlitzer, the next she’s whispering like Vincent Gallo’s long-lost cousin over a fragile score of guitars, chimes, strings and loops. Either way, the results are never less than mesmerising.