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White Magic


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Experimental folk/pop

Status:

Most recent release, I'm Hiding My Nightingale (EP 2015); most recent full-length release, Dat Rosa Mel Apibus (2006)

See also:

Wikipedia's White Magic page

Drag City (label)'s White Magic page

White Magic's MySpace page

Comparisons:

Not easy to think of this: somewhat related to Ultralash, Faun Fables, and other purveyors of experimental folk

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers

General comments:

White Magic has a distinctive experimental folk sound, identifiable by the chunky instrumentation and Mira Billotte's forceful vocal style, which sounds almost like she's shouting. A review in Pitchfork of Dat Rosa Mel Apibus describes their sound well: "simple, chunky piano patterns, dizzily swirling harmonies, droning strings, and Mira Billotte's booming lead vocals." (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Through The Sun Door

Recordings:


Through The Sun Door EP

Release info:

2004—Drag City—265CD

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of edgy folk

Group members:

Mira Billotte—vocals, piano, guitar
Andy Macleod—guitars, drums (5)
Miggy Littleton—drums, bass (2, 5), piano (2)

Guest artists:

Matt Sweeney & James Lowe—handclaps (4)

Produced by:

Jo Blaney & White Magic

Comments:

This EP is wholly inventive, haunting, and yes, magical. The winding piano, the captivating tunes, the strong vocals, I'm in love with it all. (Neile)

Dat Rosa Mel Apibus

Release info:

2006—Drag City

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of edgy folk

Group members:

Mira Billotte—vocals, piano, guitar, Roxichord, Rhodes, melodica
Douglas Shaw—guitar, erhu, gongs, percussion, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, compact organ

Guest artists:

Shahzad Ismaily—bass (1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12); upright bass (5, 8, 10); clay pot (5)
Tim DeWit—drums (1, 6, 7)
Jim White—drums (2, 11, 12)
Jesse Lee—drums (3)
Tim Barnes—drums, percussion (5, 8, 10); bells (5)
Samara Lubelski—violin (5, 6, 10)
Chris Rael—sitar (5, 10)
Karen LeBlanc—accordion (12)

Comments:

This album is one of the few times when the parts are better than their sum. I confess that I find a full album of their sound a little much, but taken individually, I love these tracks, most especially the cover of "Katie Cruel". There are other gorgeous winding melodies and harmonies, in particular on "The Light." And the tunes and instrumentation and vocals are always intriguing—their sound is never, ever boring. (Neile)

Why the ads?


Contemporary Folk

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2015-09-27 21:35:13.
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