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Magana - Golden Tongue
Digital
£3.49

Magana

Golden Tongue

Audio Antihero

Released: 28th October 2016 | 4 track indie pop ep

Brooklyn musician and photographer Jeni Magana issues her debut EP Golden Tongue on South London/South Florida's Audio Antihero Records (Frog / Cloud / Benjamin Shaw / Nosferatu D2). It's a brief but breathless collection of brittle and erratic guitar pop. These are beautifully weary songs, delivered with both anger and acceptance. There's a hint of the eccentric and a tinge of melodramatic but these songs sound as haunted and traveled as they do vital and honest.

Magana has taken a long path to reach this point. Born in Bakersfield, California, she grew up playing classical music on clarinet and upright bass before a move to Berklee College in Boston, where she began writing her own songs. Upon a move to New York she began working with a variety of bands, such as Oh Odessa, Gina's Picture Show and Annie and the Beekeepers. She even found herself recording a number of commercial jingles as well as touring and providing session work for the Dropkick Murphys. This eclectic route has shaped Magana as a musician and a songwriter and these experiences shine through Golden Tongue. Her gift for creative, layered and genre-bending composition is so apparent here. Complemented wonderfully by a pitch perfect collaboration from her rhythm section, her voice is an absolute revelation. She slips effortlessly from a whisper to a scream.

Opening with the sublime and defiant Get It Right, layered with Saxophone, Piano and crunching Guitar, the song sways unevenly beneath Magana's soaring voice and the chorus' defiant hook. This assured introduction gives way to the fractured beauty of Inches Apart, a truly standout moment on the EP. Her hushed vocal utters: I have built my cell by hand, I was dreaming of the Southern sand and while every night you visit me, darling you are friends with misery. Magana faces love and sacrifice and the acknowledgement that they aren't always separate matters.

The World Doesn't Know is the EP's most playful moment, a sleepy late night journey through dreams and desires with a lilting groove. Closing with the EP's title track, another standout song, Magana mixes microscopic melodies and an agitated instrumental. You'd see it written there in my face / If you had ever looked in my eyes

I have grown old and have been replaced / So I can't remember what I felt like when I was young. Golden Tongue closes on a confessional but wholly unpredictable note.

The songs here never go much further than three minutes, it's a brief, bold and beguiling release that is packed with ideas, hopes and quiet fury. Magana's voice alone is so full of ghosts and electricity that it could make these recordings must-hear but the composition, arrangement and songwriting all feel so vital. Jeni Magana is just getting started but she already feels like a very whole artist.

On the EP's title, Jeni Magana said:

Mostly I would say it's about smooth talkers and not letting yourself feel silenced by them. I feel like being a quiet person, in addition to being a female, makes it easy for people to overlook my words and this is a chance for me to carve out a space for myself to speak. That's kind of the idea with the artwork as well.

Current Live Dates - More Dates TBA:

November 18th - Rockwood Music Hall, Manhattan, New York

October 26th - The Studio at Webster Hall, Manhattan, New York

October 15th - See Listen Breath Festival, Castleton-on-Hudson, New York

October 13th - Sumner Knight Chapel, Keene, New Hampshire

"Will push to London in Stereo"
Niall Harvey, DIY Mag / London in Stereo
"That is a beautiful song, really special. Premiere + Interview confirmed."
Andy Hannah, The Line of Best Fit
"Jeni Magana’s voice is one that I could listen to all day and never, ever tire of."
Hink Creations
"This goes live in Week in Pop this Friday!"
Sjimon Gompers, IMPOSE
"Oh, wow, dude. She sounds really polished - and I mean that in a good way. Super fascinating sounds and stuff. This isn't her first rodeo, is it?"
Lee Adcock, Drowned in Sound / Collapse Board / Dandelion Radio
"This is GREAT. Definitely interested in writing this up."
Trev Elkin, GoldFlakePaint
"There's something beautiful in finding what you want and demanding it, and Magana perfectly captures that. Look for the EP when it drops next month on Audio Antihero."
Lauren Rearick, The Grey Estates
"Really good - sounds like Mirah crossed with Scout Niblett...Magana's gonna get signed by Secretly Canadian. Mark my words."
Emile Milgrim, Sweat Records / Other Electricities
"I do like this."
Jay Breitling, Clicky Clicky Music Blog
"Moments of Sharon Van Etten style beauty with the eccentricity and fury of St Vincent, wounded, haunting and electric."
Just Music I Like