Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

White Magic 

Tuesday, December 4, at the Beachland Tavern.

White Magic brings their indie folk to the Beachland on Tuesday.
  • White Magic brings their indie folk to the Beachland on Tuesday.

There are moments on the new White Magic EP, Dark Stars, that recall '60s singer-songwriter Judy Collins. The connection makes zero sense, since Collins is a celestial body with a voice carved from crystal. White Magic's singer, Mira Billotte, is small and grim, with a moan that's as black as 3 a.m. on a moonless mountaintop. Billotte sees herself as more like the young suburban wanderer that she portrayed in the 2004 indie film Chain. "She was a more extreme version of me: struggling, semi-homeless, working really terrible jobs," admits the part-time actress.

But like Collins, Billotte and her band — which also includes multi-instrumentalist Douglas Shaw and a rotating cast of musicians — wipe away the lines that separate acoustic folk, theater tunes, and art-song traditions. "That's what music is all about: creating new sounds that no one has made before," says Billotte. Dark Stars sounds like the score to an off-Broadway show with a modern twist. Billotte and Shaw have ditched the European-derived song structures they used to rely on and replaced them with cyclical compositions and collage-like patterns — which are partially influenced by dub and electronic dance music. Then again, White Magic may be just another role for Billotte.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Show Preview

Latest in Livewire

More by Justin F. Farrar

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays