Sun Reign


2022 repress, black vinyl. 180 gram LP version. Minneapolis psych-rockers Magic Castles are back with a new album, Sun Reign, making an exciting return after founder and songwriter Jason Edmonds suffered a near fatal car accident in November 2019. Magic Castles are well-versed in the ways of psychedelically-inclined folk-rock. Edmonds's smooth vocal harmonies float above the guitars, creating a lush, almost Byrds-esque soundscape. The layered arrangements incorporate Farfisa organ, synths, and dreamy string arrangements. Sun Reign is the band's fourth release on Anton Newcombe's label A Recordings Ltd. Ironically similar to Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Magic Castles have been plagued by lineup changes over the years. Due to this and other factors, in 2016, Edmonds, a single father, decided to take a short hiatus from regular live shows and touring to focus on his family. During that time, (2016-2019) Edmonds, an introverted multi-instrumentalist, continued to record new material in his studio, and also record with a new band at Neil Weir's studio Blue Bell Knoll, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The results of these sessions are the current release, Sun Reign. In November of 2019, tragedy struck and Edmonds was seriously injured in a car accident that required hospitalization and surgery. Friends started a GoFundMe that raised over $20k USD for the uninsured musician's hospital bills, showing an incredible outpouring of love and support for him and his family. Fortunately, Edmonds has made a complete recovery from his injuries and has bounced back remarkably well. In early 2020, Edmonds managed to finish the remaining work on the album Sun Reign, including a previously unreleased song, "Surmise", penned by guitarist Jermiah Doering, and a rare cover of a moody 1966 garage rock song "Ode to the Wind" by Danny and the Counts. Edmonds also began working with a booking agency, planning a return tour to Europe with the band to support the new album. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Due to the global pandemic crisis of Covid-19, the album was delayed until 2021, and the promising tour was cancelled. In May of 2020, Minneapolis police killed George Floyd two blocks from Edmonds's home, which incited riots across the country. The protests led to the burning of Minneapolis, where a long-time music venue and many other buildings were lost. Edmonds' studio was not destroyed although many nearby buildings were. Edmonds is a known supporter of Black Lives Matter. A lot has happened to the Magic Castles since this was released in April 2021 this release took over a year to be manufactured, the band have toured with the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Warlocks in the USA in 2022, and the track "Lost Dimension" was used in the HBO series Succession so not a bad 2022 for the band.