Magnificent Bird
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Magnificent Bird

Norman, Oklahoma, United States | SELF

Norman, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Band Rock Avant-garde




"Magnificent Bird"

Some nice Americans called Magnificent Bird are releasing an album this weekend. It's called Superdark Can Happen to Anyone. I can tell you that they mean it.

What is superdark? Sliding things, I think. Then stuck. Slurred stoppages. Some remembered party, some glorified bonfire really, in the middle of nowhere, some field or clearing, with cars and trucks pulled up around, and to stand by the fire is to lean into curtains of heat, your face ablaze even while your back is freezing, and so you turn, and keep turning, bone coated, these twisty tower poses of standing and drinking, not looking at the girls who aren't there, not beer sick about that, again, so that when you finally step away it's into a flickering half-nothingness, and then the dark fills right in, just like that, twenty feet into the field and you might as well have stepped into space, so hellishly cold and black it is, with that reflected laughter behind you, somewhere blonde thin and ropey, ghosts from some other planet. Step ahead not down. Hands out before you. Don't fall down.

That could be one thing it is. Maybe.

The only way to really know is to listen. Here's a video from one of the songs on the album, one that's just crushingly Awful. - Red Handed

"CD Review: Magnificent Bird’s “Superdark Can Happen To Anyone”"

Recorded over the past five years, this album is more attractive music from Norman’s vibrant music scene. Magnificent Bird’s core is a duo comprised of Nathan Lee Lofties (vocals/various instruments) and Tiffany Lynne Criswell (vocals/piano). They brought into their nest several other talented Norman musicians who play on most of the disc’s ten tracks. In a time when band press sheets are sometimes received listing only the players’ first names, the liner notes here include the personnel’s full first, middle and last names. It’s a nice touch that’s a throwback to another age, along with some aspects of Magnificent Bird’s sound. The music has a gentle and sophisticated sensibility that’s been called art rock in other decades.

Criswell’s soprano vocals for slightly macabre “The Married Woman” could be from early in the last century. All songs’ lyrics were written by Lofties and Criswell, but apparently not collaborating together. As the album’s title might suggest the content tends to the puzzlingly poetic. “Repeater” appears to have a theme of ancient deity worship punctuated by Stetson Chase Spivey’s very modern electric lead guitar passages. Last track “Don’t Call On Me” is my pick of the flock. It’s about a father disowning a son with references to shame and religion. There’s a power in not knowing if the son is homosexual, coward or traitor to his faith. Lofties’ sensitive vocal delivery contributes to the song’s magnificent mystery.

(Doug Hill) - The Norman Transcript


Magnificent Bird (EP 2006)

Instant Killer Spirit (Single 2007)

Superdark Can Happen to Anyone (Full-length 2011)



Somewhere in the psychic landscape between a weeping Nosferatu and a defeated Baader-Meinhof Gang, there is a band that hides itself in the deepest woods, and plays smoke-infused shows to the cold applause of sweet-sick aristocracy and creeping night animals. In this place, defect is something to believe in.

Started by Nathan Lofties in 2006, Magnificent Bird has featured a rotating cast of members from the Norman, Oklahoma music scene. After five years of songwriting and sporadic live shows, the band released their debut Superdark Can Happen to Anyone in March of 2011. In ten songs made in shades of broken blackness, Magnificent Bird tells mournful stories with thoughtful, tiptoeing sweetness.

Yet Superdark Can Happen to Anyone is not a sad album in the same way that Carthage was never destroyed, and the music is like the shadows left behind by Hiroshima – wobbling and burned and very nearly dreamed. Magnificent Bird's music doesn't seek to represent the tragic and anguished so much as simply to address it, like playing something ruined but still reverent to a broken couple, coughing up their blood in the wings.

They are currently working on their follow up.