I found out about Miami-via-South London label Audio Antihero years after I should have. It took until the penultimate release of Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love for me to pick up the attention. Staying true to DIY ethos, one common theme I’ve found in Audio Antihero's releases seems to be the otherworldly sense of compassion, despondency and beauty, all whirled up in one cathartic blur. The label's artists make music with no success motive attached – and with no intended audience target market, it can feel a lot like your own secret. It’s like a tender, familiar touch from a distant friend.
So when the label's founder introduced Magana, I felt obliged to take heed of what’s become one of the most trusted voices in independent music. Her recently released debut EP Golden Tongue is the sound of one woman’s journey finding the strength to better herself by eliminating bad situations. It’s the first half of this release that shines brightest; she’s a bedroom artist in terms of intimacy and atmosphere, but along with the skeletal band, it has the delicacy and brittle nature that you’d find in a Songs:Ohio or a Torres record. She speaks about writing the lead track ‘Inches Apart’ as a purging experience and it’s a hypnotic tension that grips on a lamp-glow finger-picked guitar. This wistful debut is an up-to-date placement of where Audio Antihero is at, and judging by this record, it's a good place to be.
Words by Niall Cunningham