Corey Webb / Bodies Full of Magic

Bodies Full of Magic

(Awendaw Green)

In Bodies Full of Magic, local songwriter Corey Webb seems to have a pretty cool band on his hands. As demonstrated on the new self-titled collection — a double/split EP packaged on one single disc — Webb and his bandmates are talented musicians playing an odd array of instruments.

The band Bodies Full of Magic mostly features Webb on acoustic guitar and lead vocals alongside vocalist Kristin Abbott (who sings lead on a few tunes here), keyboardist Alex Hennessey, drummer Brett Nash, and trumpeter Karin Bliznik.

“In meeting some very optimistic folks to support my upcoming record, I found the people who would become Bodies Full of Magic,” Webb writes of his initial efforts to document these songs in the liner notes. “After six months of playing and recording, we decided to produce a joint album, which features my reckless abandon as a solo artist, and a refreshing transition to the hypnotic collaboration that is Bodies Full of Magic.”

They might refer to themselves as an indie-style pop/folk group, but their mix of styles is difficult to define.

The first five tracks belong to Webb the solo artist (with accompaniment from some of the Bodies and a few special guests, including violinist Yuriy Bekker and percussionist Tim Giles). There’s impassioned acoustic guitar troubadour stuff in the syncopated and anxious opener “Ghost” and the rich-versus-poor follow-up anthem “Russian Roulette.” Webb’s morose anthem “Crumble” clearly puts his nasally and expressive singing style out front, supported by Bekker’s dual violin lines. With the full band and Abbott’s vocals, the dramatic love song “Leh Naih” is sort of the bridge from “side one” to “side two.”

The last seven tracks are the full-on Bodies doing their full-on band thing. Musically, things are all over the map, though, from Abbott’s unnervingly torchy “Spaceman” (a moody distant cousin to The Byrds’ “Mr. Spaceman”), to the sweeping, piano-driven “Desdemona,” which features one of several beautiful trumpet solos from special guest Bliznik.

Clever but confusing, it’s hard to figure out exactly what some of these songs are really about. Webb and Abbott cram an awful lot of lyrical mischief and seemingly grand themes into this music, and it’s hit or miss. Some songs suffer slightly from distracting arrangements and extra production tricks. What it lacks in continuity, however, it makes up for in exuberance. As this young band finds its way into the next batch of songs as a well-honed collective, they could very well storm the scene with some of the most experimental indie pop of the times. ( —T. Ballard Lesemann