Magic Giant……an indie-folk three piece out of southern California. Their bio gives the impression that destiny played a role in their continuing in the business. I’d say the “magic” part of their name is no happy accident but a testament to tenacity of “hanging in there”. This is an example of the mysterious ways of modern pop culture and the bizarre music industry.
With the four songs I was given to have a look at, I immediately got the impression that these guys have a really great utilization of soaring harmonies, with a range of movement that touches the better part of three octaves. This range is maturely executed and provides a clinic on how to write enormous chorus breaks and breakdowns to force the crowd into joining in on the tunes whether they like it or not.
The band instrumentation also provides a few moments of: “Did I just hear banjo?”. The parts are simplistic, yet necessary and blend together perfectly, weaving in and out of the songs while complementing the vocals, providing an anchor for Austin to craft his wide interval structures that are part of their signature.
The songs are inherently dark in nature that is somewhat misleading with the catchy hooks. Almost a Pop contradiction, since the tunes are soaring with more movement than the bathroom at a shady buffet restaurant. Joking aside, these guys have the gem “Glass Heart”. I must have listened to this tune a hundred times in this process. The build of the song takes a listener from somber intro to an immediate barn burner. The chorus is genius with a falsetto answer to the normal verse, with an outstanding chordal movement, with sneaky dark lyrics that you don’t seem to notice till you realize them.
Exceptional art from these guys would prime up any live situation. The upbeat nature, regardless if they were singing about puppy-love or capital punishment, proves that harmony and melody win every time.
Promoters would be wise to pick up these guys as an opener in an appropriate lineup of a wide assortment of shows. Very diverse band that deserves to continue on as the “Magic Giant” they are.
link to play "Glass Heart" at Podomatic
Uncle Marcus SMT (former major record label affiliate scout for Road Runner Records website)
For some reason, most of the millennial generation has evolved to despise country music. Alongside this repudiation, the genre itself has begun to evolve to appease the taste of the generation. And now, a burgeoning band may have a shot at successfully infiltrating the sound waves of the peculiar and particular 20 somethings.
Beginning as a duo comprised of Errol Sammut and Johann Schembri, Airport Impressions has certainly come a long way from the small island of Malta. The two spent six months in Ireland, which proved to be a significant musical influence. Later on, Chris Curmi and Steve Farrugia joined, adding to the band’s creative and musical potential.
To label Airport Impressions "country" would certainly be a stretch. The act makes it difficult to be pigeonholed into one word. As with any musical anomaly, ITunes manages to solve this problem by stamping "alternative" onto a sometimes questionable amount of bands. By combining two generalizations, "alternative country" isn't necessarily an inaccurate indicator of this band's sound.
By focusing on the elements that could identify Airport impressions as country, it becomes evident where their strengths lie. Errol Sammut's vocals are a prominent example of this. Somewhere between rock and country, his vocal ranges never remain static, and along other vocal harmonies, exceeds what seem possible for his range. Further country esque distinctions are the occasional mandolin and banjo riffs hidden within some tracks.
A prime example of their versatility is "let it shine," from their sophomore album "Mariette." The opening guitar riffs pave what could have been an uncharacteristically atmospheric song. That is, until the song's drums open into a much more indie rock driven sound. Next to the the previous tracks of the album, this is a stand out.
Although Airport Impressions may not be for everyone, their talent as a band is evident. Being able to effectively pull in various influences is an appeal to outlining fans of both country and alternative. From their debut to latest release, they maintain an overall consistency that leaves room to be built upon in future releases. Although, their first album definitely leans more toward the alternative side on the spectrum. Upon first listen, the band doesn't sound particularly innovative, but the quality of what they create is undeniable.
link to play ...."Let it Shine" at Podomatic
facebook link for Airport Impressions
Written by Matthew S. Persson
The culmination of effects and instrumentation that is Walla, represents a modern day Postal Service collaboration, although incomparable in terms of sound. By creating a bond via “digital means” the band’s five members came together to deliver a collection of interesting and inventive EP’s that sparked interest in the band on bill boards such as Hypemachine. Their diverse backgrounds coalesce to create catchy contributions to the ever growing music blogosphere.
Jonathan Hoonch Kim’s soft spoken vocals carry the band’s often synth laden tracks. The band’s effectively layered tracks each have a persona of their own, which can be seen as either a flaw or a strength, as the music sometimes lacks consistency. They feel vaguely reminiscent of other indie pop acts that made appearances early last year, such as The Wombats. Worth mentioning is the title track to their Gangsters of Suburbia EP, with its distinctly disco esque opening and steady beat. Collectively, their sound is best expressed by their Nature EP released in 2013.
With an interesting blend of electronic and acoustic, it wouldn’t be surprising to soon find Walla occupying the soundscapes of many alternative radio stations. They’ve explored a variety of different sounds, and it will be interesting to see which direction they choose to go. Their first four EPs have promise for the developing band, with the most recent representing their capacity to continually deliver upbeat and relevant releases.
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