With a sound seemingly grounded at the crossroads between country and rock, Magnolia Collective’s narrative-driven songs often tend to drift unexpectedly toward the gothic, paving an off kilter road of psychedelic dream-folk. There are vaguely familiar landmarks along the way to be sure: the baroque mystery of John Wesley Harding, the southern yearning of Gram Parsons, the freak show Americana of Marc Ribot.
“The Devil is Real,” the source for the title of the band’s new LP, An Old Darkness Falls, is a song driven by the idea of grappling with tangible evil, evil not as abstraction, but as something embodied, the kind that shakes your hand and gives you a smile. It’s also a song that encapsulates the underlying mood of the album, recorded during the icy, socio-political winter of 2014.
This willingness to delve into the uncanny as we see it in the flesh distinguishes them from other bands with a less oblique take on the gothic. Magnolia Collective, with their melancholic harmonies and swirling guitars, seem intent on finding the haunting in the familiar and the beauty in the fleeting.
And while predominantly known for a live show that never flags in intensity, even through slower songs, Magnolia Collective appreciate that music is a medium that hangs in the air and then is gone. These fugitive qualities are what makes these songs such a compelling listen, whether on record or on stage.
AN OLD DARKNESS FALLS
Vinyl / Digital
GHOST STORIES EP