When it comes to working through the influences of Americana, a band will usually either look toward exploring a neo-country/folk aesthetic or go back decades to dig into the roots of the genre. The most successful bands are the ones who are able to blend these approaches into a unique examination of sounds which haven’t really changed over the last 70 years.
Chattanooga-based duo Magic Birds, built around the considerable talents of musicians Scott Bruce and Ben Ezell, have found a way to splice these various musical methodologies into a coherent and memorable brew of catchy harmonies, bouts of unaffected lyrical earnestness and waves of acoustic reverberations. Equal parts Appalachian rhythms and rural rock arrangements, their work is timeless and rowdy, possessing a bucolic persuasiveness which few other artists can cultivate.
The band is currently finishing up their new record, which is due out sometime later this year and features production work from fellow Chattanooga musician Nick Lutsko and guest spots from a handful of local artists. However, they have released a couple of singles to satiate their fans, including their most recent, “Shiver,” a track which feels like it was pulled from some old Harry Smith Anthology and is situated within an old-school country environment.
Reminiscent of an old Willie Nelson shuffle or the more contemporary adaptations of The Mavericks, the song offers a sincere homage to the traditions of country music and revels in the band’s charismatic distillation of their familiar inspirations. Bruce and Ezell’s voices pair nicely, with their melodic give-and-take providing the perfect balance to the acoustic resonance they develop and unveil for all to hear.