by Aaron “Fresh” Knight
Hearing smooth piano keys start a song just puts you in a real easy going mood. That is the exact feeling I had as opening track “Breathe” played from Magna Carda’s latest offering, LADEE. Providing spoken word vibes, Magna’s Megz Kelli hits with smooth words clearly intended for someone special she can’t get off her mind. As Xavier Davis’ piano stylings play in the background of the song, I can’t help but envision Megz in a smoky bar with the crowd vibed out and soaking up every word. With assistance from M3CCA, Kelli expresses feelings of longing for someone and knowing they’re also longing for you, an experience we have all felt at some point or another in life. In other words, “Breathe” is a song you pour a nice glass of chardonnay to or roll a tight jay to, while you relax with bae.
That mood continues throughout the five track EP as Magna Carda stick with their signature boom bap, jazz infused style. Songs like “Can I” and “Wild Magnolia” emphasize the central theme of the project: your partner is important, treat them as such. On “Can I,” Kelli smoothly asks a young lady out, wanting to show her off and do all things you’re supposed to do for your love. The easy going, sensual instrumental helps visualize Megz off to the side of a dark party, holding the hand of a woman, gently asking her “can I find you while finding my greater self?” Who could resist such an offer?
Meanwhile on “Wild Magnolia” Megz compares a love to a wild magnolia flower, reminiscing of their first encounter and the feelings evoked. Alongside Megz is Jay Luse and Ari Burns, aiding in the creation of a sensual atmosphere, delivering poetic raps of being with a partner who excites you.
LADEE may not deviate from Magna Carda’s norm, but it does show how consistent Magna is, and how they know their sound and what their audience desires. The live instrumentation on each record helps emphasize each bar, metaphor, simile, etc spit on this project. The musical chops of trumpeter Ari Burns, pianist Xavier Davis, guitarist Marshall Skeeters and the production of Dougie Do tie the entire project together, making for one of their best yet, proving Magna Carda thrive when their concepts push the content.
Magna Carda play Stubb’s Indoors on Thursday, May 9th with The Bishops and more
Aaron “Fresh” Knight is the co-host of KUTX’s The Breaks, which airs on Saturdays at 10pm