Empty Cellar is proud to release the newest album by Magic Trick, Other Man's Blues – written and recorded while songwriter Tim Cohen split his time between two lives and two worlds, a horse ranch with his newborn daughter, and on tour or at Phil Manley's Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco. A book of songs Cohen had written while bouncing to and fro sufficed in lieu of rehearsal time with the thirteen other musicians who appear on the tracks: James Kim and James Barone (Beach House) on drums; Alicia Van Heuvel (Aislers Set) and Paul Garcia on bass; Joel Robinow (Once and Future Band, Danny James) on keys; Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang, The Muggers) on guitar; and omnipresent vocal harmonies from Alicia, Noelle Cahill and Anna Hillburg.
The album is a loose, largely improvised affair, with many guest appearances and stop-ins. Allegedly tequila was centrally involved. It's the principle that gave this project a name five years ago. Especially in this case, the players on the album define what shapes these songs take. A ghostly choir of female voices opens the album like a séance, with the spirit they conjure flitting about the ensuing ten tracks, from the baroque pop of "Forest of Kates" to the icy post-punk of "I Held the Ring." There's the air-tight R&B groove of "Startling Chimes," the krauty "Purest Thing," a jammy side-to-side trot that moves "First Thought" along, taking a detour into country before culminating in a glorious Grateful Dead-indebted coda. Throughout, it's Cohen's lyrics that are pushed to the front of the mix – collectively fleshed out, from his composition book.