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Jason Horodyski started Maudlin Magpie in the Fall of 2009 as a solo project, writing songs evoking a starkness of imagery and surrealism reminiscent of Haruki Murkami and David Lynch. Working as a library clerk among dusty threads of lore, communing with authors long dead but not forgotten, he began stitching together autumnal stories and literary meditations in a tenor both brooding and wistful, in stanzas replete with crescendo and decay, in the spirit of Leonard Cohen, Bright Eyes, Paul Simon, Songs:Ohia and Red House Painters.
After playing shows in and around Denver, opening up for such acts as Ian Cooke, Joe Sampson, Candy Claws and Mike Marchant, the band underwent numerous musical transformations. Strings and saws were added as well as a slew of percussive and melodic arrangements by the multi-instrumentalist Robin Walker. In 2010, Katie Gold of the dreamy chamber-pop group Lady Parts started singing and playing piano in the band. Katie adorns the songs with intricate melody lines that float like lost lullabies in some ethereal world. The bassist, Lander McLees, brings a classically trained sensibility to the band; his arpeggios, brimming with dynamic richness. Luis Chavez, of the prominent Denver Latin Reggae group Mono Verde, completes the band with tight and subtly nuanced drumming that lends energy and space to the soundscapes, opening up the songs in indescribable ways.
The band has shared bills with such diverse acts as Mouthful of Thunder, Coast West Unrest, Team Awesome!, Papa Bear, Time, Ricky Stein, Dear Rabbit, the Bedsit Infamy, Bearsnail, Architect, Munster Boogie, Sour Boy Bitter Girl, Max Davies, Paen, Thrifty Astronaut and Otem Relik.
Maudlin Magpie’s new album, Two Maple Keys, features Robin Walker of Cougar Pants, Adan Hernandez of Des Tours and Tall City of the Nicotine Fits.