Who? White Magic is mostly Mira Billotte — who used to play drums in her sister’s punk band, Quix*o*tic — and her boyfriend “Sleepy” Doug Shaw. Since the 2004 release of their critically-hailed debut EP, Through the Sun Door, they’ve been holed up in their Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn apartment with an electric piano, a four track recorder, and an extended family of plants in pots, hangers, and repurposed fish tanks.
What’s the Deal? White Magic’s debut EP played raw and visceral, its witchy minimalism as perfectly efficient a chord-striker as a cold spoon to the exposed nerve of a rotten tooth. The 12 songs on their full-length debut, Dat Rosa Mel Apibus, are still rooted in abrasively plunk piano keys and throaty dirge, but they flush out the EP’s elements, adding flecks of blue to its flame. The hushed ferocity of Sun Door’s “Keeping the Wolves From the Door,” for example, is darkened and twisted by woozy, droning sitars on “All The World Wept,” while “One Note”‘s steely, knuckle-roll piano riff comes back cross-eyed and ululating on album-opener “The Light.” Everything…expands. Other standouts “Sun Song,” “Katie Cruel,” and “Sea Chanty” intoxicate, filling the vast space of Rosa with far off bells, low-tide surf, and seasick funeral incantations.
Fun Fact: Dat Rosa Mel Apibus features performances by Jim White of Dirty Three, Tim DeWit of Gang Gang Dance, and Social Registry artist Samara Lubelski. And the cover is outta control cool, all tripped out with twinkly gold leaf pentagrams. Really beautiful. In other words, freaks, folkers, sorcerers and stoners, welcome home. DANIEL ARNOLD
Now Hear This: White Magic – “The Light” DOWNLOAD MP3
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On the Web: White Magic at dragcity.com