I have a theory when it comes to listening to Magic Giant’s music, I refer to the proposition as the ”Magic Giant Experience”. The “Experience” requires you to listen to their acoustic album, and then their studio albums (Magic Giant and In The Wild) mixing in the two Set On Fire remixes. This allows Zang and Mr. Tango showcase their instrumental talents in an easy-listening way. And then the magic comes out when the drums and everything that the Misfits are.
Magic Giant is made up of four members; Austin Bisnow (lead singer), Brian Zang (acoustic guitar and cello), Zambricki Li (viola, banjo, and harmonica), and Kasto (drums). Kasto just joined a year ago while helping produce In The Wild (ITW), and Austin, Zang, and Zambricki have been together since 2014. Note to readers: due to the shortness of the interview I had with Austin after the amazing show in February 2018, I will not be using a lot of the answers in this post.
Now I am not saying Magic Giant EP had bad demo versions of some of the ITW songs, but what I will say it sounded quite….. different…. then the final versions.
I honestly don’t know why The Dawn didn’t make ITW (that’s how good the demo is) because it perfectly expresses Magic Giant’s unique sound. I really like Set On Fire (Cloudchords Remix) because it infuses two totally different genres (electronic and alternative), combined both artist’s sound, and produced a remix that sounds totally unlike the original. Other Suns is also good, it sounds like an inspiring bluegrass song with a little bit of Stone Foxes influenced. Overall, despite the EP being my lowest grade for any EP/single/album, I listen to some of the songs whenever I listen to Magic Giant (which is like every other day).
I honestly didn’t care for Prototyperaptor’s remix of Set On Fire as much as I liked Cloudchords. This remix has small hints of what the original sound like, such as some of the verses, the riffs, a little bit of the outro. Now I don’t tend to like a remix because it doesn’t sound like the original, but when it only has some of the original components then it just sounds like any other Deadmou5 song. And that’s what this remix sounds like to me.
I really do enjoy listening to In The Wild, but the only reasons I didn’t give the album 5 stars will be explained later. True highlights of ITW includes (of course) Magic Giant’s signature song; Windows. This song doesn’t only have a great beat to it, but it is a cool video and sounds absolutely beautiful when played live. While Magic Giant puts on quite a show, it is really never truly amazing unless they play this song. To cut the sweet talk short, I end by saying that Kasto’s roll in this song is vital to me because without the drum then it just doesn’t have that “get off your a$# and dance” kick to it. As for Set On Fire, I may be very biased when it comes to banjos, but who wouldn’t be. And that’s why I like this song…. Because of the awesome banjo riff. I also like the songs Jade and Glass Heart for the same reason. I will also compliment Austin by saying that his voice sounds good with whatever instrument Zang or Li plays, I guess that’s why they’re getting so popular. Other outstanding songs with different instrumental riffs include Let It Burn (harmonica), and acoustic guitar riffs (Great Divide, Let’s Start, and Hideaway).
Overall, the reason why I think In The Wild deserves to be on the radio is not only because it is an impressive album, but it also has a factor I consider very important to a band with a revolutionary sound. That factor is having a multi-instrumental band member, this can help a group explore so many different paths while at the same time not losing 100% of their popular sound. We’ve seen Mumford & Sons be reasonably criticized for turning away from their bluegrass roots by making what sounds like a rock album (Wilder Mind ). But something Magic Giant is doing that is totally different then what M&S is changing only one instrument. In other words, they’re allowing their multi-instrumental musician (Zang) develop riffs with different instruments per song, while not changing their sound in a drastic way. Yes, I do believe multi-instrumental members are a huge factor in a revolutionary band. But what makes them great is their ability to use that factor in the right way. And that’s exactly what Magic Giant is doing in this album.
I will end my critique by saying how amazed I was to hear how purely simple In The Wild (Acoustic Album) sounds. This is an album I would (and sometimes do) listen to when I need to either calm down or relax. I would not be surprised if an old-time music fan (someone who likes Otis Redding or music from the 20’s) looks at me and says something like “this is what real music sounds like” when hearing this album. And honestly, I always liked when artists/bands come out with easy-listening versions of songs. There’s nothing like sitting back on my back porch swing with my Yeti filled with green tea (or coffee if it’s the morning) and listening to a simple acoustic song on a sunny day.
In conclusion, I would sincerely like to thank Magic Giant for being so open to me. I really love what these guys are doing with their music and fans. I will gladly stay in touch with Austin (and hopefully their manager), and follow their continued success! Thank you again!!!!