It was after the passing of a close friend that Matt Johnston (aka Magpie) began the Magpie Diaries project. With that kind of weight behind the musical project, it’s no surprise that Magpie Diaries’ music holds so much grit and heart.
We were first introduced to the band with a 2015 EP, suitably titled An Introduction To. Though it was last month, with the release of their debut full-length album Sanctuary that the group’s sounds were roped into one cohesive, impactful body of work.
On their debut full-length album Sanctuary, Magpie Diaries weave together a variety of sounds to deliver something cohesive, heartfelt, and completely captivating.
Throughout the album’s eleven-track duration, Magpie Diaries glide through a heartfelt blend of soul, blues, country and rock. The result is a sound that will stick in your body for weeks.
The album’s opening track, Beat Myself Up, immediately establishes their penchant for emotive and soulful songwriting. With driving vocal delivery, gospelic harmonies, and rich instrumentation, the track will blanket you with lush musical textures.
Beautiful Beetroot showcases a similarly unfeigned songwriting style. “So I’m sitting here learning how to cook Beautiful Beetroot,” the song opens. From here, Johnston further develops his authentic lyrical style.
Irresistible Pie is a crunching blues number that stands side-by-side the tender soulfulness of the whole album. While the album navigates various sonic territories throughout its duration, there’s not one song that doesn’t fit. Magpie Diaries rope all these sounds into something cohesive.
By the time the album’s slow-burning closer Don’t Give Up Now reaches its conclusion, you’ll have been roped in completely to Magpie Diaries endearing music.
Do yourself a favour and listen to Sanctuary above.
Catch Magpie Diaries live at any of the following dates:
December 29th – Sonic Sherpa, Record Store
Dec 29-Jan 2 – Woodford Folk festival, Woodfordia QLD
December 29th – Sonic Sherpa, Record Store Appearance
January 3 – Nimbin Bush Theatre w/ Coda Chroma (donation entry)
January 3 – Byron Bay Brewery w/ Coda Chroma + Family Jordan free entry
January 4 – Bellingen Federal Hotel w/ Coda Chroma free entry
January 5 – Flow Bar, Old Bar w/ Coda Chroma
January 11 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla w/ Steve Smyth
January 12 – Sly Fox, Enmore
January 13 – Hardys Bay Club, Hardys Bay w/ Baghead free entry
January 19 – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth free entry
January 20 – Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth (12pm to 1pm) *free entry*
January 20 – Junkyard, Maitland *free entry*
January 24 – Servo Food Truck, Port Kembla w/ Baghead
January 25 – Tomerong Hall, Tomerong w/ Steve Smyth + Baghead + Dave Wells
January 31 – Stag & Hunter, Newcastle
February 6 – Transit Bar, Canberra w/ Steve Smyth
February 7 – The Old Bar, Fitzroy w/ Masco Sound System + Dave Wells
February 8 – The Eastern, Ballarat w/ Steve Smyth + Masco Sound System
February 9 – Barwon Club, Geelong w/ Steve Smyth + Masco Sound System
February 10 – Northcote Social Club, Northcote w/ Steve Smyth + Masco Sound System + Dave Wells + Coda Chroma
February 15th – Dashville, Lower Belford