Born and bred in the musical swamps of South Florida, Magic City Hippies is a band that uniquely separates themselves from most EDM and rap-focused South Florida artists. Blending their style of funk, hip-hop, and a tinge of John Mayer, the trio have paid their dues before making it big.
Starting out as the Robby Hunter Band (named after lead singer Robby Hunter) before lead singer and guitarist got fed up with his tiring one-man band, Hunter recruited the likes of bassist/guitarist John Coughlin and drummer Pat Howard before they toured together as the Magic City Hippies.
With their transition from solo projects into a trio, the band continued to tour the South Florida music scene: playing dive bars in Brickell, college parties in Palmetto and even the occasional wedding helped them grow their hometown cred. After two years of stomping their soles to Miami’s musical beats, the band eventually expanded to five members (with a specific focus on Howard, Hunter and Coughlin,) and finally released their 2013 self-titled debut EP, Magic City Hippies.
The album cover itself encapsulates the feel of Miami: the South Floridian sunset creeping in the background, the pastel colors of green and blue surrounding it and at the focal point, a nose and sunglasses (presumably Hunter’s) with the reflection of his two other bandmates, serving as a reminder of the band’s intrinsic ties to the South Florida community.
The band’s sound does indeed differ from most South Floridian artists. One can argue the majority of Miami’s artists have a heavy rap/trap sound or even go in an EDM route. It’s clear for Hunter and his bandmates that they did take heavy inspiration from 70s funk artists and most of John Mayer’s discography. This inspiration shows in the band’s rhythm-infused, soft-rock focus debut EP.
Starting off the album with the self-titled song Magic City Hippies, the band uses this song as more or less an introduction to themselves. Filled with chill guitar riffs, simplistic drums and a groovy bassline, the trio has used this song as a statement, signaling the change from the to Magic City Hippies.
The rest of the album continues on similarly, with slow jam tracks like Never Say No, Que Paso? and their sleeper indie smash hit, Corazon.
The band continued riding this wave of success all the way into 2015, with their EP release, Hippie Castle and its lead track Fanfare hitting number one on Spotify’s Global Top 50 list, their follow up singles Hush and Heart Wants also had a warm response.
As for the upcoming schedule for the band? Well, it certainly doesn’t slow down.
The trio has a winter tour starting in January that runs until mid-February of next year. On top of this, the band plans on releasing new music later next year as well.
From all the late night shows, sleepless nights and unpaid gigs, it appears that Magic City Hippies have finally made it on their way.
Not bad for a band that started deep in the streets of Miami.