Empty Cellar is proud to release the newest album by Magic Trick, Other Man’s Blues—written and recorded while songwriter Tim Cohen split his time between two lives and two worlds, a horse ranch with his newborn daughter, and on tour or at Phil Manley’s Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco.A book of songs Cohen had written while bouncing to and fro sufficed in lieu of rehearsal time with the thirteen other musicians who appear on the tracks: James Kim and James Barone (Beach House) on drums; Alicia Van Heuvel (Aislers Set) and Paul Garcia on bass; Joel Robinow (Once and Future Band / Danny James) on keys; Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang / The Muggers) on guitar; and omnipresent vocal harmonies from Alicia, Noelle Cahill and Anna Hillburg. The album is a loose, largely improvised affair, with many guest appearances and stop-ins. Allegedly tequila was centrally involved. It’s the principle that gave this project a name five years ago. Especially in this case, the players on the album define what shapes these songs take.A ghostly choir of female voices opens the album like a séance, with the spirit they conjure flitting about the ensuing ten tracks, from the baroque pop of “Forest of Kates” to the icy post-punk of “I Held the Ring.” There’s the air-tight R&B groove of “Startling Chimes,” the krauty “Purest Thing,” a jammy side-to-side trot that moves “First Thought” along, taking a detour into country before culminating in a glorious Grateful Dead-indebted coda. Throughout, it’s Cohen’s lyrics that are pushed to the front of the mix—collectively fleshed out, from his composition book.