Magna Carda: “Back Then”

Photo by Sarah Jasmine Montgomery

On “Back Then,” Magna Carda’s Megz Kelli reminisces, but it’s not some rose-colored reflection. It’s more of an origin story for her heroic prowess on the mic. Chased out of New Orleans by Katrina before falling into casual, institutionalized racism at school is a lot for anybody to process, much less a kid, but Kelli revels in rhymes and the ability to chase the shadows with music. There’s freedom on the blank page.

The rest of the Austin crew falls into line behind Kelli, crafting some spectacularly hazy, humid funk that feels like the flashback Kelli is rapping about. “Back Then” shows up on a new EP called Somewhere Between. The song itself seems to live in this ether, pulled into memory but always keeping an eye on the horizon.

“Back Then” appears on Somewhere Between, out now. Magna Carda plays Cheer Up Charlie’s on Saturday, July 15 as part of the Hot Summer Nights series.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

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