Magpie: A Musical Odyssey Through the World of Spirits, Senses, and Symbolism

The Magpie bird is a creature of mystery and intrigue, often associated with the spirit world and primal energies. In a similar way, the band Magpie creates music that connects listeners to a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Since 2010, the group has been touring across the United States, blending elements of folk rock to create an unforgettable musical experience.

Lead singer Zach Dunn brings a soulful intimacy to his performances, whether playing solo on an acoustic guitar or fronting the full electric ensemble. He says, “Magpie, the man or the band, is one of those rare musical forces that needs to be experienced.” 

Zach uses the symbol of the Magpie bird as a consistent image so people can quickly identify and associate an entire body of work with which they already have an intimate experience. He believes it’s a recognizable symbol that intrigues someone to dig deeper. “That bird holds a certain significance to me as kind of a spirit animal; it’s literally guided me over the years. It also represents an entire landscape, culture, and people that I’m familiar with,” Zach shared.

A lot of Zach’s songs are written on the road, deep in nature. In fact, he was living out of his vehicle traveling around the central coast of California in 2021 and met another kindred musician friend while surfing in Santa Cruz. They found fast musical chemistry, drove their rigs down to some of those sacred coastal places where the mountains meet the ocean, and just started writing songs together. A little more than a week later, they are sleeping next to a park in the mission district of San Francisco, recording the songs they just wrote inside of legendary Hyde Street Studio. The travels continued throughout the summer, and the two kept writing songs in different nature spots. Just as they would finish writing new songs in a new location, new opportunities to record the songs would immediately unfold for them. “I believe that good things happen if you put in the effort. You might as well put effort into the things you like doing,” he said.

But music is not the only art form that Zach delves into. During the Flu craze, Zach spent most of his time painting, expressing his thoughts and emotions on a canvas. He started bringing an art gallery of his paintings to concerts to enhance the overall experience.  Also, he just finished writing a book, soon to be released, about some of his traveling and music touring experiences.

Zach’s lifestyle is also unconventional. He has spent much of his adult life living out of a vehicle. He created his first album in 2013 while living in an old shag-carpeted RV parked in front of different friends’ houses in East Nashville, believing that, in some ways, living an unconventional life on the road brings a certain simplicity, freedom, adventure, and connection to nature that can be worthy of creating something from. “These days, it seems you have to be a slave to afford the common creature comforts, and it makes me sad the way things have become unbalanced,” he insightfully shared. “We are all on the same team in this game we call life. I’ve just been persistently creating longer than many and found several effective ways to express the experience. We all have our special gifts and nuanced ways of giving them,” he added.

In conclusion, Magpie is a band that creates a unique blend of folk-rock that speaks to the deeper aspects of life. Through their music and their unorthodox lifestyle, they strive to connect listeners to the otherworldly realm of spirits, senses, and symbolism. Their lyrics are not just words but a window into the soul. Zach Dunn paints an image of a band that is not just about making music but about living a life that is full of adventure, beauty and freedom. They are not only a band to listen to but an experience to be had.