Pete Yorn 4/16 at 12pm

Meet the Band: Magic Giant

It’d be easy to say Magic Giant is the fever-dreamed mix of Imagine Dragons, The RevivalistsThe 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.

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.

Soundcheck In Nature! Recording vocals on "Jade" from the album out May 19th. #InTheWind #magicGiant

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