Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

“In the Wind” with Magic Giant

During most concerts, you don’t normally witness the lead singer using a cello as if it were a guitar – nor the group incorporating a banjo, harmonica or violin into their setup. But indie-pop band Magic Giant is anything but normal.

The LA-based trio blends the line between pop and folk seemingly perfectly, while using any instrument at their disposal. From the customary guitar and bass to the not-so-usual violin and cello, Magic Giant embraces their unique tastes and uses it to create riffs and melodies that get listeners up and moving.

The band was formed back in 2014 when lead singer, Austin Bisnow and songwriting partner, Zambricki Li found now-bandmate Brian “Zang” Zaghi salsa dancing in a video.

Picked as Elvis Duran’s “Artist of the Month” and ALT 98.7 FM’s current “Artist in Resident”, Magic Giant has risen in popularity not only by their activity in the festival-music scene, but also by touring with bands such as The Revivalists and Beats Antique.

Now the trio is on the road again, but this time as headliners in support of their first full-length album, “In the Wind”.

The indie-folk pop band celebrated the release of their debut album at The Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Friday, May 19.

The band kicked off their set with “Jade”, which had the packed crowd bouncing and already singing along despite the same day release. Bisnow later explained that they were inspired by a fan in Aspen, Colorado, who told them that the song, unfinished at the time, reminded her of a friend she lost at the 16 – thus titling it after her friend Jade.

All bodies in the room, fans and band members alike, were in a state of constant motion as the music carried on with songs such as “Let’s Start Again”, “Hideaway” and “Window”.

Indie folk band Magic Giant performing their debut album “In the Wind” at The Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Friday, May 19. Photo credit: Amber Vaughn

The band’s enthusiasm was only matched by the crowd, who kept jumping, clapping and waving their bodies to the driving backbeat.

“We like to present joy in our delivery and through dance,” Zang said. “Just drop a little drop of joy into someone’s world that can ripple out and spread to other people.”

The band goes on to explain that they just want people to choose how they want to feel while listening to their music.

“We wanted to make [the album] impactful on different levels. If you just want to have a good time listening to it, we hope that it serves that purpose,” Bisnow said, “but if you want to go deep and listen to all the lyrics, and go deeper into the meaning, then we’re going just as deep with you.”

Holding to their unconventional ways, “In the Wind” wasn’t composed in the typical four walls and glass of a recording studio.

Instead, they took inspiration from nature in a solar-powered converted bus, dubbed the “shuttlebus”, furnished with a California king-sized bed in the back and set out on tour.

“We found all these beautiful places like Moab, Utah, where we recorded vocals,” Zang explained. “It’s beautiful because you can’t really get the feeling you get when you look over to the left to a mountain range and to the right a deep forest of trees, then you look to the front and there’s just a microphone…It’s a different feeling when you’re out in these places and not closed in a room with black walls. The performance you get is much different.”

Indie folk band Magic Giant performing their debut album “In the Wind” at The Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Friday, May 19. Photo credit: Amber Vaughn

The band incorporated the sounds of rain, wind, birds and more of what nature could provide and started to fall in love.

And fans of all ages in the crowded Constellation Room floor seemed to fall in love too, as they turned, swayed and danced with one another – regardless whether these were friends or strangers.

The band closed out the night with their best-known single “Set on Fire”, which reached No. 31 in Billboard’s Alternative chart. As the lights dimmed and the band exited the stage, the audience continued to sway and call out in excitement.

You can pick up a copy of their debut album “In the Wind” here. For every physical copy bought on tour, the band will plant a tree.

To keep up to date with Magic Giant and future tour dates, be sure to check out their website.