It’d be easy to say Magic Giant is the fever-dreamed mix of Imagine Dragons, The Revivalists, The Lumineers, Of Monsters & Men, and Mumford & Sons. But the Los Angeles-based trio is an exuberant folktronica group hellbent on “inspiring mass dance-alongs” and stripping down fan’s inhibitions, putting them in a genre unto themselves. Welcoming “nature into the fold as their unofficial fourth member,” Magic Giant’s upbeat folk-pop incorporates the natural with the electronic and brings out the playful in everything they do. They’re a group that seems to be able to bring the vibes of a summer music or yoga festival to all their live shows.
The trio first caught attention for their independently released “Set On Fire”, which charted at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral 50. Between Austin Bisnow (lead vocals), Zambricki Li (banjo, violin, harmonica), & Brian Zaghi (a.k.a. Zang, acoustic guitar, cello), Magic Giant can play over a dozen instruments. Each member has at least the cello and guitar under their belts, but a dobro, lap steel, and mandolin (among 13 other instruments) find their way into the music as well.
— MAGIC GIANT (@magicgiant) March 10, 2017
Bisnow and Li met playing in their first band. They added Zang in 2015 after seeing him play electric bass with a mutual friend (and were additionally hooked after seeing his salsa dancing videos online). They say they’re happy to keep it at three:
With three people you can never have a tie. Magic Giant is a true collaboration: when we are creating beats or arranging songs it’s nice to have only a few cooks in the kitchen. We all have different musical backgrounds and flavors, and really strong opinions, so the three of us can individually contribute in a way that’s meaningful to the overall sound. For us, the best song and the best idea always wins. Having a tight-knit group of three really lets each member shine.
Magic Giant released their freshman self-titled EP featuring Rashawn Ross from the Dave Matthew’s band and Capital Cities’ Spencer Ludwig in 2015. The follow-up was the recently released debut album In the Wind, partly recorded in Zambricki’s backyard studio in LA: a 1940s bomb shelter dubbed “The Bunker,” which they converted together.
The band even turned a shuttle bus into a “solar-powered mobile recording studio, added a California King on hydraulics, and fondly named her Queen Elizabeth.” So the aptly titled record was done in the landscapes they love so much: “inside a Redwood tree off the coast of California; within a tunnel by Snoqualmie Pass; on an airstrip in Marble, Colorado; in a wild daisy field near Crested Butte.”
Besides the music itself, it’s clear that these authentic touches, plus a hilarious social media presence, connect Magic Giant so vibrantly to their fans. The band says their goal as a group, in general, is to “move bodies and souls.” That also seems to be a mission well accomplished.