Delicate and sleek, Aya Maguire’s The Sandcastle King is a perfectly gentle folk record for the modern metaphysical listener. Indicative of the growing indie Colorado scene, Maguire’s latest record puts her in a place between Western canyon contentment and Midwest dread, arriving at something much more mystical. It’s the delicate things that underscore the bombastic music we collectively overplay – Maguire’s music is nothing short of heroic.
Hearkening back to the flowery era of valiant short form poetry in popular folk and early psychedelia, The Sandcastle King is a luminous trek through watercolor landscapes and acid test imagery. Sans drug-infused debauchery, Maguire’s approach to song craft is the same mystical, occult-adjacent folklore that warped zeitgeists in the late 60’s and early 70’s. In particular, “Two To Fold” is akin to a Gaelic chant, calling upon the power and mystery of slinky guitar rifts to place the same within a more modern subtext. Quite literally playing into the inherent role of nature that the song proposes, “There’s No Such Thing As A Portland Thunderstorm” is a haunting look at the betrayal of climate in the Western Hemisphere as it relates to equally volatile relationships.
With a choir-ready voice, Maguire’s vocal tone sounds charmingly wizened and antiquated for her record of material in the same vein. The songwriter is by no means out of touch with this approach to music – in fact, it makes it that much more authentic. The Sandcastle King is a rare modern entry into the field of incredibly gracious songwriting.