Tim Cohen has been putting his songwriting talents to work with cohortsJ ames Kim, Alicia Van Heuvel, and Noelle Cahill under the moniker Magic Trick. Their latest offering – Other Man’s Blues – was written by Tim when he was splitting himself between two separate lives, as a new father in northern Arizona, and on the road with Magic Trick or Fresh & Onlys. It features the regular ensemble, plus some work from James Barone, Phil Manley, Paul Garcia, Joel Robinow, Emmett Kelly, Anna Hillburg, Dylan Edrich, Tom Heyman, and Marc Capelle.
The first track is titled “More”, beginning in a dream-like haze of ethereal vocals and heavy guitar rock. “Forest Of Kates” slows it down a bit, to a folksy western sound that also somehow emits a 60’s sound. “I Held The Ring” might first conjure images of a slight testament to Lord of The Rings, but it’s a fast paced, light song that holds striking, almost monotone, harmonies. “Scorpio” brings a darker feel to the album, much like the personality of the stubborn, defiant astrological sign. Don’t worry, Magic Trick wants you to know that “I’m no Scorpio,” so you can breathe a sigh of relief here.
Even with a name like “First Thought”, we’re glad they didn’t place this song first on the album. It’s upbeat, honest, and a song you could easily play at an end of summer barbecue or while decorating for your autumn festivities. It’s got a “come together” vibe to it, and we’re infatuated with it. “Mockingbird” is back to that sole vintage, 70’s feel. It sounds like something your mom may have spun on her record machine decades ago, and that might be why we love so much about it.
“Eternal Summer” has a title that boasts a serene, lazy day vibe. The song itself is no different. Although, to be frank, we felt more autumn in its daze-inducing guitar, but the vocals set in and immediately we are in a beach chair, drink in hand, “on the shore.” The eighth track, “Purest Thing”, has very interesting percussion to it, transposed over a slower beat the keyboard enters the song with. As the composition layers in, the reverb welcomes us with open arms into a song replete with warmth.
Although there are only brief moments of chimes in “Startling Chimes”, we appreciate the dreamlike nod to a hippie attribution, and the comfort we feel in the words, “You’re mine, baby you’re mine.” Other Man’s Blues rounds out with “Oysters”, a wispy but slow, melancholic tale of love and patience.
We’re floored by this work, confident in our claim that it is the best yet from Magic Trick.
We shot some questions Tim’s way to get a little insight into his work. He definitely made us laugh with some of his answers. Enjoy.
If you could introduce yourself in any way possible, how would you do it?
By using sign language, but every time my hands moved, butterflies and other bugs would fly out of my fingers beautifully.
Where did the moniker Magic Trick come from?
I mean, its a seriously good band name. I can’t believe it hadn’t been used yet. It just came from my little book of band names that I made up on the bus or wherever.
How would you describe your music?
Like, fake sad i guess. Or intelligent but deadly.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Gordon Lightfoot and Cat Stevens.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Just about to get started on my next five-year plan, probably. So the same place.
If you were a food, what would you be and why?
Oh, I like this question. I would be the chicken adobo and rice I ate tonight, then you could really say that I’m so full of myself.
What’s up next for you?
I don’t know, let’s start a band haha
Other Man’s Blues is available August 26th. It is available for preorder now.