In July 2016, Alex Toth was recovering from a broken foot and a broken heart, stuck in his fourth-floor apartment in Brooklyn with cast and crutches. This is where Tōth’s “achingly beautiful” debut album, Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary, was born. A few months earlier, Alex and his Rubblebucket cofounder and love of more than eleven years had “consciously uncoupled,” after a period of helping each other through devastating challenges. Alex was lightning-struck by sadness. That spring, a new kind of music started to come—raw, stripped-down songs unfurling without agenda, bent over an acoustic guitar. Practice Magic is a self-help guide unlike any other—a breakup album before wholeness, but after anger. The album turns as it goes, through “lush, windswept sonics,” bebop trumpet solos, and spare guitar, recalling the Beach Boys in one bar and Arthur Russell in the next. It’s an album for remembering and letting go—and discovering what magic remains.
LP - Standard LP.
CD - Standard CD.