Sounds Like: A boot-stomping, banjo-toting collective delivering boho-chic pop hooks somewhere between the Avett Brothers and the Chemical Brothers.
For Fans of: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Imagine Dragons
Why You Should Pay Attention: The Los Angeles trio recently performed single "Set on Fire" live on the Today show, and the song has spent multiple weeks in the Top 40 of the Billboard Alternative Songs charts. Prior to founding Magic Giant, frontman Austin Bisnow notched credits writing for David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Nickelodeon boy band Big Time Rush. His ear for creating upbeat infectiousness and four-on-the-floor rhythms is still present, but now a wealth of folk instrumentation sets the tone.
Bisnow, banjo player Zambricki Li, and guitarist/cellist Brian "Zang" Zaghi's mirthful debut full-length In the Wind features field recordings captured by their solar-powered mobile recording studio. Co-produced with Ben Allen (Walk the Moon, Animal Collective), the album binds together the three collaborators' disparate tastes and emotions. So far, Magic Giant's touring has teamed them with the Revivalists, Mike Posner and Eric Hutchinson, and festival appearances include Electric Forest and Wanderlust. "We have all these different backgrounds and we butt heads at every moment of diversion," says Zaghi. "There's three of us, so there's never a tie."
They Say: "The most common thing we do is play in front of a ton of people, but [performing on Today] was in front of no people – except Hoda, Kathie Lee, Elvis Duran and a crew of people behind cameras," Zaghi says. "With no people to bounce energy off of, we found it within each other. They're either really good at faking how much they loved us, or they really loved the performance. It all went over so smoothly. We were like, 'Wow, this is what paradise feels like.'"
Hear for Yourself: The propulsive, folk-flavored "Set on Fire" is perfect music festival fare. Reed Fischer