Magical Beasts - Yes, My Love, I am Reaching
(Independent / December 20, 2019)
• Stream the album via Bandcamp
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Led by musician and composer Ned Paulus, Magical Beasts offers a dreamy, melodic, even haunting version of folk and Americana. The sound overall is lush, with instrumentation that includes banjo, ukelele, and pedal steel guitar along with violin and the usual acoustic guitar and bass.
The pace is languid, and the six songs talk about love and devotion - but devotion replete with sexual imagery. Love, sex, and yearning come together. The band released it around the Winter Solstice intentionally. "It is very much a Winter record," says the media release.
The various threads of vocals, acoustic guitar, fiddle, and percussion weave into a trance-like groove in Darling. The lyrics are simple, and tell a story in the true folk tradition.
Darling, come and walk beside me
Your hand in mine, watch the world you see
Darling, bring your horses to me
Teach me to ride in the sun by the sea
In grace with this garden where we bloomed into being.
Little Buds brings the spring, a faster pace, and a musical awakening. As with the other tracks, the sense of familiarity in the folk idiom is a little deceptive, masking the inventive song structures and textures.
Harmonies take unexpected turns, and what begins simply ends as a multi-layered and trippy sonic landscape. It's folk and Americana with an idiosyncratic twist.
Nathan Paulus: Vocals and Guitar; John Herbst: Vocals, Banjo and Ukulele; Josh Miller: Vocals and Bass; Matt Carroll: Drums; Ethan Pikas: Pedal Steel, Dobro and Banjo; Jess McIntosh: Vocals and Violin (Darling, 7 Nights, Little Buds); Sharon Hoyer: Vocals (Farthest Shore); Katie Stimpson: Vocals (Farthest Shore, Come Find Me, In Praise); Joseph Dittman: Fender Rhodes (In Praise)
1. Come Find Me
2. 7 Nights
4. In Praise
5. Little Buds
6. Farthest Shore