Out since November internationally, the Magic Numbers' sophomore set, "Those the Brokes," will finally arrive July 17 in North America.

Out since November internationally, the Magic Numbers' sophomore set, "Those the Brokes," will finally arrive July 17 in North America. Originally slated to be released in February, the album hit a few snags during the band's switch from Capitol Records to Astralwerks.

"Well, it's about time, isn't it?" frontman Romeo Stodart laughs. Stodart describes the new album as a continuation of the group's 2005 self-titled debut, which addresses the deterioration of an eight-year romance.

Comprising two brother-sister pairs, the Magic Numbers have all the benefits and miseries of traveling with family. "We all get lonely and start missing people from back home. That's hard to keep up. We're all so involved in each others' lives, that we know exactly what the others are feeling and we can make each other stronger," says melodica/Wurlitzer player Angela Gannon.

Bassist Michele Stodart chimes in, "We're also around to call each other out whenever someone's talking bullsh*t." "Some of us have more of that than others," her brother says. Michele rolls her eyes.

Both women stepped out to sing lead on a couple of songs on "Those the Brokes," a first for the band. The group also worked extensively on string arrangements with Robert Kirby, who previously worked on the late Nick Drake's "Bryter Layter" and "Five Leaves Left." The nine-piece orchestra fit perfectly with the album's sound, with moments of soul and sunny pop melodies peaking through introspective rock narratives.

But particularly after a few scathing reviews in the British press for "Those the Brokes," Romeo is eager for fans to make up their own minds about the record. "If that means they have to go on peer-to-peer [services] just to hear it, so be it," he says. "Some people just don't get what we're doing. We were never about making only fast songs. We've always had slow songs. We're about creating a complete album."

"We get a lot of comparisons to the Mamas and Papas, this whole hippy happy family '60s West-coast feel," he continues. "Sure, there's an element of that, but we're just simply hook-oriented. "When people understand that even after reading harsh reviews, then that's the time I'm happy to be misunderstood."

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