Magnolia Collective is the spaced-out, Southern Gothic folk rock darling of songwriters Rich McLaughlin and Daniel Snyder. Started in 2011 with a rotating cast of players, the group has since gelled into a four piece with Daniel Snyder on vocals, Rich McLaughlin on guitar, Mimi McLaughlin and Jonathan Truesdale rounding out the rhythm section.
With a sound seemingly grounded at the crossroads between country and rock, Magnolia Collective’s narrative-driven songs often tend to drift unexpectedly toward the gothic, paving an off kilter road of psychedelic dream-folk. There are vaguely familiar landmarks along the way to be sure: the baroque mystery of John Wesley Harding, the southern yearning of Gram Parsons, the freak show Americana of Marc Ribot.
“The Devil is Real,” the source for the title of the band’s new LP, An Old Darkness Falls, is a song driven by the idea of grappling with tangible evil, evil not as abstraction, but as something embodied, the kind that shakes your hand and gives you a smile. It’s also a song that encapsulates the underlying mood of the album, recorded during the icy, socio-political winter of 2014. This willingness to delve into the uncanny as we see it in the flesh distinguishes them from other bands with a less oblique take on the gothic. Magnolia Collective, with their melancholic harmonies and swirling guitars, seem intent on finding the haunting in the familiar and the beauty in the fleeting.
And while predominantly known for a live show that never flags in intensity, even through slower songs, Magnolia Collective appreciate that music is a medium that hangs in the air and then is gone. These fugitive qualities are what makes these songs such a compelling listen, whether on record or on stage.
released October 24, 2015
Daniel Snyder: Vocals, Guitar
Rich McLaughlin: Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Keyboard, Lap Steel Guitar
Mimi McLaughlin: Bass, Vocals
Jonathan Truesdale: Drums
Nathan Golub: Pedal Steel Guitar on “Julianne”
Matt Douglas: Organ and Vocals on “A Reminder”
Produced and Arranged by Magnolia Collective
Recorded at McLaughlin Manor, Carrboro, NC
Vocals recorded by Matt Douglas at The Shed, Raleigh, NC
Drums recorded by Nick Petersen at Revival Music Recording Studios, Pittsboro, NC
Comping and Editing by Matt Douglas
Mixed by Greg Abate at Neon Audio, Durham, NC
Mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Audio, Portland, OR
Photography and Design by April Kilpatrick