Hayes Carll – “The Magic Kid” (Stereogum Premiere)

Texas country singer-songwriter Hayes Carll is gearing up to drop his fifth album Lovers And Leavers later this spring. Early singles “The Love That We Need” and “Sake Of Song” were both subdued reflections, the former on the basic human necessity of love and affection, the latter on why he and his peers do what they do. Carll is right at home in the serene space his album creates: “No, it’s not my Blood On The Tracks, nor is it any kind of opus. It’s my fifth record — a reflection of a specific time and place. It is quiet, like I wanted it to be.”

His latest offering is another soothing gem, “The Magic Kid.” It’s a bare, poetic plea with nothing but melodic, twangy guitars, congo drums and Carll’s smooth voice. But those things alone are enough to have you lost in deep thought. Carll starts the song with “Pick a card any card/ Don’t show it to me/ Abracadabra I got nothing up my sleeve/ And I may get it wrong or get it right/ But either way I’m standing in the light.” He colloquially expresses conclusions derived from deep, higher thought and inward meditation. Paired with the raw, sparse instrumentation it comes off so vulnerable and intimate. Carll submits, “The song was inspired by my son Eli, his love of magic, and the courage it takes to just be yourself in this world.” Listen.

Lovers And Leavers is out 4/8 via Thirty Tigers. Pre-order is available here.

Tags: Hayes Carll