Magic City Hippies
1940 9th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Magic City Hippies
Magic City Hippies began as a one-man band playing for the co-ed party scene on the streets of Miami -- serenading the 20-somethings with a mix of old- school hip-hop covers and breezy pop originals.
After months of stealing electricity and stirring up crowds of passers-by with his loop-based setup, Robby Hunter was given an ultimatum by the local police: to cease and desist from street performance or to get a gig at a “real bar.” Finding sanctuary in the neighborhood dive, Hunter enlisted the support of multi-instrumentalists Pat Howard (drums) and John Coughlin (guitar) for a regular Friday night gig (that paid, of course, in free beer).
The trio dubbed themselves Robby Hunter Band and released a self-produced, widely acclaimed debut LP in 2013 entitled Magic City Hippies, which included the beachy Hype Machine-topper "Corazón" alongside indie blog hits ”Hard On Me" and "BUST.”
Encouraged by the international reach and positive reception of their debut, they decided to expand their sound and approach under the better-fitting moniker Magic City Hippies (after the title of their debut LP). In July of 2015, the Magic City Hippies released the Hippie Castle EP, with the lead-off track "Fanfare" hitting #1 on both Spotify's Global Viral Top 50 and Hype Machine’s popular chart. The EP has accumulated over 10 million Spotify streams to date.
After the release of two follow-up singles, “HUSH” and “Heart Wants” in 2016, the band was picked up by Hippo Campus for an opening slot on a national tour, playing 40+ shows in over 30 states over the course of 8 weeks.
The exposure of the tour brought MCH to the attention of the festival world, with sets at Bonnaroo (2017), Hulaween (2017) and Okeechobee Fest (2018). MCH is currently set to perform at Electric Forest and Austin City Limits later this year, as well as a national tour in support of their new music.
“Body Like A Weapon” is the first single released from recording sessions from winter 2017/2018.
The breakthrough single from Bay Ledges, "Safe" came to life in a moment of major creative upheaval. After spending few years in New York City, musician Zach Hurd took off for L.A., got a job at a restaurant in Venice, and put his music career on the backburner. While crashing at his sister Georgia's place, he soon began writing and recording on his own as a way to reconnect with the pure joy he'd found in making music as a kid.
"I'd come home from work and record these songs and not really even think about releasing them, since they were so different from the heavier, more acoustic stuff I'd done before," says Hurd. "It was just something to do for fun and to explore, without ever laboring over anything. The only goal was to get out of my own way and make songs that felt good to me."
Sunny yet soulful, warmly textured and sweetly melodic, "Safe" was sparked by the newfound sense of possibility that Hurd discovered in moving to L.A. "It's a love song, but there's a bigger theme of meeting people who seem in touch with the magic of creating, especially the idea of creating just to create," Hurd points out. With its heart-on-sleeve sensibility, "Safe" reveals the delicate contrast at the heart of Bay Ledges, embodying both a carefree spirit and powerful depth.
In November 2016, at the urging of his sisters and friends, Hurd released "Safe" online but made no effort to promote it. Within weeks, the track landed on Spotify's Fresh Finds playlist, then shot up the Global Viral chart. "At the time I was in Williamsburg, Virginia, helping to clear out my grandparents' old house," recalls Hurd, who's originally from Bath, Maine. "Every day I'd wake up to something new. It was so surreal -- like, 'This unbelievable thing is happening, and I'm in Colonial Williamsburg and there's no one to celebrate with.'" With "Safe" drawing attention from a host of record labels, Hurd soon signed with S- Curve Records and has been preparing for the release of Bay Ledges' debut EP.
Borrowing the name Bay Ledges from a plot of land his grandparents owned in the Maine woods, Hurd grew up on the Paul Simon and Beach Boys and Aretha Franklin records his parents spun at home. But while he started playing guitar in middle school and writing songs in his early teens, he mostly kept his music to himself. "I was terrified to sing in front of anyone, so I was always secretive about it," says Hurd. It wasn't until his senior year of college that he began sharing his songs with the world. "One night we were all hanging out in the dorm and one of my friends asked me to play something," says Hurd. "He was like, 'Zach, we all hear you playing in your room all the time -- just play us a song.' I remember pulling the hood of my sweatshirt down over my eyes and being so embarrassed, and then when I was done they all burst out laughing, like, 'Dude, that was amazing!' It was just a side of me they'd never seen before."
After that night, Hurd began playing open-mic nights in Providence and -- once he'd graduated -- touring the country in a singer/songwriter duo. Eventually settling in New York, he then dedicated himself to developing his career as a solo artist, a venture that included winning the International Independent Music Awards' Best Pop EP prize for 2013's She Never Sleeps.
Now at work on the EP from Bay Ledges, Hurd has made a point of sticking to the uncalculated approach he brought to the making of "Safe." "I used to get so focused on trying to express things in a poetic way, I'd end up not really saying anything at all," he says. "This is the first time I've been able to stop myself from self-editing in my attempt to please others." With Bay Ledges evolving from a passion project to a fully realized musical outfit (also featuring vocals from sister Georgia), that lack of self-editing has served a higher purpose for Hurd. "It's easy to get caught up in trying to come off a certain way," he says. "Making this music lets me connect with myself. Throughout the creative process, I have to check in and make sure I'm not giving in to any pressure, and just go with the songs that are coming out of me, because those are the most honest. It's difficult sometimes, but it's also so freeing and so much more fun that way."