Magic for Everybody!


When I discovered the character called Auralia – that mischievous, compulsively creative young girl who weaves together all of the colors she can find in the dark forest – I was reminded of many friends and inspirations who live lives of constant imaginative endeavor.

One of those artists was Sam Phillips, who has been writing beautiful and compelling songs characterized by raw honesty, suggestive poetry, and sonic fireworks. With her new subscribers-only website The Long Play, she’s been providing a window into her creative process, and now I think of her as a real-world Auralia more than ever. Not only do we get a window into her creative process, but we’re treated to poetic blog entries, visual art (like playful, spontaneous collage), audio interviews with other creative geniuses (like Joe Henry and Colin Linden), and even something called “Drum Fill of the Week.”

This week, Sam released a brand new EP for subscribers, and it contains fantastic new songs… songs that show she’s not just (to borrow a title from one of her earlier albums) standing still. She’s blazing new trails, painting with new colors.

I hope you’ll join me in the enthusiastic community of Sam’s fans at The Long Play and enjoy the music on Magic for Everybody. The title track has a singalong quality to it that should make it a favorite at upcoming concerts, and it comes as a sweeping uplift after the Twin Peaks-style haunting of a sad and beautiful number called “Always Merry and Bright.” There’s also a brand new version of a tune she originally wrote for TV’s Gilmore Girls soundtrack, and an irresistible rock number called “Lever Pulled Down” that features sharp percussion by Jay Bellerose.

I could go on and on, as I have so many times before when inspired by Sam’s work.

Sign up for a year of The Long Play. You won’t regret it.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.


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