Joel Christian’s debut album, Dark Magic, sees the young queer artist turning his darkest fears into something magical with an electronic-pop soundscape. The dark pop odyssey represents all the demons he has carried throughout the years such as anxiety, fear, heartbreak, rejection, self-hatred, loneliness, and sadness. Despite the dark and heavy content, Dark Magic is full of Christian’s quintessential energetic dance soundscapes that make listeners feel as if they are at a raving dance club. Having teased the album with the previous release of “Gemini”, “Rise From The Grave”, and “Hell Raiser”, Christian launched himself into the dark-electro-pop scene with a dark fantasy as the emerging theme of his artistry. The emerging artist takes his visuals to the next level to showcase a horror aesthetic that makes pop music simultaneously feel fun and mysterious with an eclectic genre of electronic pop with a dark twist.
Dark Magic is a seven-track album that lyrically finds itself as “dark and relatable” set against an upbeat electronic soundscape. Each track represents a different element of Christian’s darkness and sonically explores his personal journey to find himself in the midst of his own trials through exceptional creative artistry. Opening the album with the title track “Dark Magic”, Christian begins his journey into the darkness with an angelic state of sound and being. “Symbolically, I pictured myself lying in the middle of darkness and I heard this choir singing – it was as if they were my siren leading me to begin the journey into the darkness to find the light,” says Christian. “You Know What You Did” follows, depicting the darkness of self-doubt after Christian’s experience with someone leading him on with the wrong intentions. “It’s almost like a breakup song, but instead I’m letting them know I know who they are and I’m over it,” says Christian. His latest single “Hell Raiser” is featured as the third track – a commentary on the release of his own demons and insecurities in order to find his own inner confidence through music. Pop anthem “Rise From The Grave” follows and personifies the message of the album as a whole. “This record was written as a fight against my anxiety. For so many years, I felt buried, mistreated, and rejected in this industry. I wanted to write a pop anthem that didn’t hide those insecurities or fears. It was a stand against my anxiety and letting it know, it never buried me and I rose from it,” (Joel Christian). “Rise From The Grave” is also featured as a dance-club-rave remix made by a ghost named Ice Bath as the last track of the album. Dark Magic continues its journey with “Gemini”, a mysterious song about a secret love affair that (despite fan’s suspicions) is written about a myriad of relationships Christian experienced in his adult life. “Take My Picture” rounds out the album as Christian’s way of emerging from the “instant-celebrity” landscape facing most young people today and realizing that his worth is not based on fame or followers, but on his inner qualities and abilities to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Overall, Dark Magic provides a glimpse into the mind of Joel Christian over the last few years as he has evolved and embraced himself in an authentic and empowering way. The album reminds listeners that even in the darkest of places, you can find yourself through all of it and come out stronger and better at the end. Remarking on the album, Christian states, “Dark Magic makes you want to dance, you feel the electronic sounds pulse through your body, you can hold onto the lyrics and relate – and to me that’s the magic in the purest form.”
Los Angeles based electronic-pop artist Joel Christian is emerging as the LGBTQ community’s next artist to watch with his fresh breed of pop identity, unapologetically creating music that celebrates the diverse and creates a safe musical escape to be completely yourself. With only a few single releases under his belt, Christian’s music has already spread globally with fans based in over 40 different countries. Most widely received in the USA and major European countries, the emerging artist aims to fight for equality and freedom of expression through his music – recognizing that many times the industry rejects the most creative people alive. Hoping to build a world where imagination and creativity are looked at as a power instead of a nuisance, Joel Christian is paving his own way for a new era in pop culture and using his platform to create a dark-pop musical escape for those that need it.