• Kyle Petronio

Watering Whose Garden?


Ever since my senior year of high school, I have taken a fascination with the Robby Hunter Band. Back in those days, Magic City Hippies was an album and not the well-rounded band existing now. Their musical concoction has not changed much, including on-brand Miami funk that incorporated bossa nova, hip hop, soul, and other delicious sonic entities into their recordings. Fast forward nine years from the Robby Hunter Band days, and the Magic City Hippies just dropped an album of the year contender.

Water Your Garden celebrates the struggle of life, designed to make you dance, party, and question why you are sad. These are historically depressing times, and the Magic City Hippies want you to pretend you live in Florida even though you likely live in a frozen state like Michigan during the winter. Every time I listen to this band, I get high from the euphoria that these tunes produce in my body.

The album starts with a classic hippie opener: “Garden Friya” a modal groove with the spoken voiceover of Robby Hunter himself, entrancing the listener in a daze. “Diamond” was one of the earliest singles that dropped in 2021. The tune surprises you with an unacceptably nasty drum and bass outro that made me nearly cry the first time I heard it. “Queen” feels like it could be the background music for a music video collaboration between Quentin Tarantino and Melanie Martinez in a weird ecstasy of color and groove. “High Beams” keeps it at that nerdy low volume brand of funk, similar to Vulfpeck, but has moments of combustibility. “Champagne On The Rider” feels like a distinct sequel to “Hush”, one of their earlier singles that could easily be inserted into a Netflix rom-com show. “Hangunder” seems to be a play on words in terms of the title, but also serves as a lovely interlude into “Ghost On The Mend”, which builds upon the tempo and feel of “Queen”. “Water Your Garden” is the infamous album title and song that features the silky smooth vocals of maye. The closing three tracks, “Atlantis / DM”, “Therapy”, and “High Above The Sun” are the remaining unheard tracks that tie the album together in a gorgeous knot of tasteful guitars, vocals, and reverb.

With features from Tim Atlas, maye, and Nafets, this album provides a funky outlook on life in an otherwise dismal society. It becomes so easy to feel at ease with this album. One simply cannot feel sad while listening to this album because it validates your sadness and does not care. It continues to move and groove into a beautiful crevasse of sonic gluttony. Water Your Garden is a worthy follow-up to Modern Animal and should be shared everywhere among the people.

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