Photo: Fro Rojas
Magic City Hippies is a band that exudes a love for what they do. Originating as frontman Robby Hunter's one-mand busking project on the streets of Miami, the band expanded when Hunter received an ultimatum from the police: shut up or find a gig in a bar. Joined by multi-instrumentalists Pat Howard and John Coughlin, the newly-formed unit scored a regular gig at one of the neighborhood dives before grinding their way up towards national tours. Some bands find the come-up to success a tiresome process, merely tolerating the cramped van-rides in hopes of scoring bigger opportunities, but Magic City Hippies' video for "What Would I Do" demonstrates the trio's love for the vagrant life.
"What Would I Do" isn't a traditional music video in the sense that it lacks a carefully constructed set, wardrobe, and plot. Rather, it's a collage of cell phone footage and festival clips that watches like a tape of home movies from 1992 that you found in your parents' basement. The bossa nova-flavored, sunsoaked track plays atop scenes of the band fixing their broken-down van, messing around in roadside thrift shops, and of course, kicking it on stage for a hodge-podge of nostalgia that captures the beautiful camaraderie of living in a rolling 18-foot metal cube. On the project, Hunter elaborated,
"Ever since we started touring it's always felt like one big road trip. Driving across the country with your best buds. Doing figure 8's on sleepless nights over gorgeous moonlit mountain ranges. Breaking down a ton of times, only to miraculously still make sound check. It's truly amazing it went as well as it did - and throughout the long drives, and wild shows, we had some of the best times of our lives. This video is a compilation of those days, and a preview of what's to come."
"What Would I Do" will appear on Magic City Hippies' debut LP Modern Animal, which is set to release Aug. 16. Take an exclusive first look at the video for the track here - but don't blame us if you end up taking out an ill-advised loan to purchase a van.