Magic City Hippies have a wild history, dating back to the days when vocalist Robby Hunter busked on the streets of Miami and took his one-man band show to a variety of parties. When the police told him he had to quit the streets, he quickly collected drummer Pat Howard and guitarist John Coughlin and began gigging for free beer and as much applause as the audience could muster. Initially called the Robby Hunter Band, the trio ultimately released its debut set in 2013. Titling the platter Magic City Hippies, the group soon jettisoned its original moniker and later recorded the 2015 EP, Hippie Castle, which ultimately placed on Spotify’s Global Viral Top 50, eventually accumulating over 10 million streams.
A string of singles followed, including the latest, “GunSlingers”. Landing at the intersection of the deep past and several moments into the future, the track is soulful, funky and emotionally engaging.
Hunter says that the song had some basis in circumstances surrounding the band. “It addresses and then dismisses the fear of coming up short after a lifetime of chasing down your dreams,” he observes. “These are the first lyrics that I wrote after we released our first full length together as Robby Hunter Band and began this five-year journey from Florida dive bars too, eventually, national tours and major festivals. This song sat on the shelf that whole time, gathering all this new meaning and relevance for the three of us. ‘I won’t stop ’till they say my name’ is this kind of chest-beating affirmation that we’re not stepping off this ride anytime soon.”
Coughlin adds, “Of all our current songs this one started the earliest, way back in 2013 before even anything off our last EP. It’s really fitting how it’s got this vibe like it reminds you of something. Because it’s lived with us so long, I get almost nostalgic thinking about how much the song and we’ve progressed over those five years.”
Howard, who also serves as producer, notes that there is something nostalgic in the production as well. “To me, there’s something both haunting and soothing about dusty, living-room organ sounds and analog drum machines,” he offers. “Almost like the 1960s version of futuristic. We produced this one with a mix of retro-futuristic sounds like that, live instruments, and even some trunk 808s snuck in there. It helps the song feel unstuck in time, kind of like the lyrical perspective.”