Magana Releases Teeth LP

Spending the last few years on the road with Mitski and Lady Lamb has clearly helped Jeni Magana find her footing as a songwriter, as Teeth, sounds like a statement of an artist stepping into their own light. The album single, “Break Free,” premiered here on ATH, and I found it an intoxicating number filled with synths that match of with Magana‘s powerful vocals. While that was clearly an upbeat number, there’s such diversity on the whole of Teeth that it feels like Jeni can do no wrong. Take the opening track “Garden,” which feels folk influenced then it pushes right into the bold bravado of “Beside You” in the following tune. “Girl in Chains” definitely has this aura of reclaiming power, perhaps alluding to the theme of Teeth and Jeni Magana claiming this musical space as her own. Stream the entirety of the LP below, courtesy of Audio Antihero.

ATH Premiere: Magana Shares Break Free

If you’ve been going to shows the last few years, you’ve likely encountered Jeni Magana, who has been seen playing bass with both Lady Lamb and Mitski. But, for today, we bring you news of her new solo record under the Magana moniker, which I’m thinking will have her on your radar for the time being. Your ears are instantly met by a deep wash of synths, with Jeni entering the picture moments later, her voice falling like a soft rain atop the dream soundscape. Then you hit that 24 second mark and a thumping beat joins, intoxicatingly spinning you about as the track steadies itself on those falling vocal lines. When the guitar line shoots through with a solo, you’ll probably already be mesmerized, with the track’s pulse and vocals pulling you into the depths with their mantra-like feel. A powerful statement, so be on the lookout for Teeth, dropping March 25th via Audio Antihero/Colored Pencils.

Here’s an earlier single too!

Wy Share New Single + EP Announcement

Sweden’s Wy have already found great success with their last few releases, finally breaking into the US audience with the excellent Marriage LP (2021). Today, the group return with news of a fresh EP on the way, and they’re doing it in striking fashion. Ebba opens the tune with her vocals crawling atop light sonic touches. Soon, the guitar enters the picture, heavily breaking the barrier between pop and rock. Still, Ebba’s voice has this huge range to it, something that would put her right alongside current US darlings like Angel or Sharon. Something Amazing is on the horizon, and it will be released by the ATH revered Rama Lama Records.

Bowerbirds – Upper Air

bower Rating: ★★★★☆

Last summer we met Fleet Foxes, and their harmonious folk led to much acclaim whilst keeping us warm for the rest of the year.  This summer, we have Bowerbirds.  While they may not share much  in common with last summer’s hit, they do seem to dabble in the folk nostalgia, most likely influenced by their location in Raleigh, North Carolina.  On their new record, Upper Air, you’ll find them quietly strumming instruments while combining the voices of Phil Moore and Beth Tacular in order to warm your soul–though if you’re in Austin, Tx, odds are you don’t need it that much.

Something in Phil Moore’s voice just evokes emotion.  You can tell from the minute he steps in on “House of Diamonds” that he’s got something personal to release, whether truly personal, or as a narrative; you’ll find that his voice warrants repeated listening.  Then combine it with Beth’s voice during the chorus, and you have the recipe for the group’s deeply rich melodious folk productions.

Almost every song stands alone on this album, as if they crafted them out of individual stories, yet they all fit together, standing as a woven basket of an album, full of various tales and combined textures.  In “Teeth,” the usage of accordion provides a new layer with which the group can tie in their shared vocal arrangements.  Crystal clear picking of guitars stand out in the foreground, exfoliating the textured sounds in  a beautiful manner.

When you find yourself in the middle of the album, you meet the longest song on this long player.  “Ghost Life” demonstrates the group at its best, with some of the stronger lyrics this side of 2009. Here, the paired vocals of Moore and Tacular do somewhat resemble Fleet Foxes harmonies, although you clearly won’t mistake this band as anything other than an original.  Such a standout is worthy of being played over and over again on your home stereo, where the pristine sounds of the tune can truly take on a life of their own.

Near the end of the album, you’ll find Moore really pushing himself, in the realm of vocals, on “Crooked Lust.” But, this is just a momentary prelude to the record’s closer, “This Day.”  It’s almost a solo number, until you hit the end of the song, where everyone joins together to bring an end to “This Day,” and in doing so, bring an end to Upper Air.

Much like the artwork on the cover, this is folk music for the clouds.  Temporarily, it will let you float outside of yourself as you escape the a land created by someone else.  It’s a blissful folk journey that the Bowerbirds will encourage you to take, as they took it themselves in completing their best work to date.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/02-teeth-1.mp3]

Download: Bowerbirds – Teeth [MP3]