MAGIC GIANT

“Having built a reputation for their infectious and upbeat sound, blending folk instruments (banjo, fiddle, harmonica) with big drums and dance rhythms, the band leaves a lasting impression on listeners.” – Paste

“A boot-stomping, banjo-toting collective delivering boho-chic pop hooks somewhere between the Avett Brothers and the Chemical Brothers.” – Rolling Stone

“The band blends folk and pop in equal doses, creating killer harmonies, intriguing instrumental accompaniment, literally using any instrument they happen to find, including drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin, and more. Their sound is huge and features melodies that soar to majestic heights, and the way the album was created has a lot to do with that.” –Popmatters

“What a unique sound—oh my gosh!” – Kathie Lee Gifford, Today Show

“The energy they bring to the stage is invigorating and infectious” – Pancakes and Whiskey​

Named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 “Artists You Need to Know,” Los Angeles‐based MAGIC GIANT is
igniting packed crowds at every stop of its nationwide tour. The trio, comprised of Austin Bisnow (lead
vocals), Zambricki Li (viola, banjo, harmonica), and Zang (acoustic guitar, cello) released its debut album, In the Wind, this past May. The band’s initial single “Set on Fire” broke the Top 25 on Billboard’s US Alternative chart and their current single “Window” has just debuted on the Hot AC Top 50.

With an appearance on the Today Show as their “Artist of the Month,” the band has toured with artists
such as The Revivalists, Atlas Genius, and Mike Posner, and played festivals ranging from Firefly in
Delaware to Electric Forest in Michigan. DuJour dubbed Magic Giant “the most festive band in the
festival circuit… quickly becoming a must‐see with their buzzy energy and upbeat sound.”

In The Wind (Washington Square/Razor & Tie) threads together a musical cartography of alternative,
pop, and folk, including orchestral drums, banjo, harmonica, synths, strings, and horns. The album was
recorded in their solar‐powered mobile recording studio while they traveled throughout the US.
Billboard claimed, “With a joyful live show the band is inspiring mass dance‐alongs” and NPR said the
band “…captures the energy and spirit of the past few waves of upbeat, passionate indie‐folk.”

“I fucking nail second chances,” says Lauren Ruth Ward, benignly reflecting on the time she got expelled from high school in her junior year. With aged wisdom beyond her years, she reminisces about her hometown of Baltimore, where her upbringing was what the songstress lovingly refers to as a “cocktail for being an artist;” She grew up splitting her time between a bohemian mother — “I’m very pragmatic, and she would call that cold and intense” — and some weekends with her father — “He’s a ‘healthy republican,’” she says with a laugh. From a young age, she also had a natural drive for creativity, with the talent to back it. “I was wearing a beehive every day in sophomore year,” she says, describing how she’s always had a knack for doing hair. “Junior, senior year, ‘scene’ was really in and I was like a ‘scene’ queen. I had a splash of blonde over here, splash of blonde over there.”

Meanwhile, Ward also taught herself to sew clothes, as well as sing and play guitar, taking cues from the music of her childhood — ‘70s rock and her mom’s old disco compilations — and the music of her teens: Mirah, Elliott Smith, basically anything “emotional, folky and dismal,” she says. (If you’re curious, that combination lands Ward somewhere between Janis Joplin and Courtney Barnett.)

When graduation rolled around and it came time to pick a career, Ward took on hairstyling. By 22 she had a fully booked calendar with cancellation backups at the salon where she worked and was running her own wedding updo business. She was ambitious, successful, and doing work she loved, yet something was missing. “I saw the music then, but I was behind a chair six days a week,” says Ward about coming to terms with pursuing another career. “To be honest, I wanted a band,” she continues, “every time I found someone to play with, they had a day job — they didn’t have the dream. And you really gotta fuckin’ have it to live in a world that’s musical.”

So in 2015, Ward packed up her life and road tripped to her new home of Los Angeles. After a challenging, perfectionistic pursuit, Ward came together with a band: Liv Slingerland (bass), India Pascucci (drums) and guitarist and fellow songwriter Eduardo Rivera. “They all call me ‘Mom,’” she says with a laugh. “It’s like getting three new best friends that you’re giving the most personal part of yourself.” They’ve even got matching jackets.

Together, they created Ward’s debut album, Well, Hell, a nine track sampler of what she calls the band’s “four modes.” There’s the “heaven of the album,” “Did I Offend You?,” a sweet, airy, swiftly cadenced track which crescendos into a powerful chant: “You’re only breaking down/ you’re only breaking down/ you’re only breaking down.” Then there’s the “hell,” “Blue Collar Sex Kitten,” a full-throttle rock song that dives head first into distorted chords, sexuality — “I’m a dyke/ dated guys/ ain’t a crime/ won’t apologize for my tribe,” sings Ward — and a psychedelic breakdown that sounds like lucid dreaming. There’s the band’s acoustic mode, made up by breathy tracks like “Travel Man,” and finally Ward’s poppier side, heard on “Sideways” — a funky, retro take on soul-searching and feeling lost — and “Sheet Stains,” a bluesy ode to her fianceé, indie pop mega-star LP, who sings backup vocals on the track.

The band’s chameleonic moods are punctuated by Ward’s playfulness with her bandmates on stage, dancing with audience and her signature white dotted eyes. Ward’s music has even gained her a dedicated international fanbase — in fact, three fans flew from France to be at the Well, Hell record release show in Los Angeles.

In some ways, Well, Hell is Ward’s second chance at a career doing what she loves most: creating. “I could totally have done a version of this in Baltimore, but not the way I’ve done it here,” Ward says of making music in Los Angeles. In others, Ward hasn’t changed a bit — you can still catch her doing hair, though now it’s under a batch of clementine trees at her house. “I had four clients at my house today,” she says with a laugh as she preps for a show. “I just picked the hair out from underneath my nails.” Either way, one thing’s for sure: there’s no telling what’s in store for Ward and company. “This is definitely a different life for me,” she says. “This is Lauren 2.0.”

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