Mongolian folk singer
An Indie band that everybody loves

What does an emotion sound like? Does it hum like a bee in the summer sun? Does it float like the silence after a bell rings? Or does it sing?

If you’re familiar with the singer and songwriter Magnolian, then you already know the answer. And if you aren’t, turn on their music for a moment. A peaceful atmosphere will fill the room, your creativity will emerge, and your daily tasks will flow harmoniously from within.

The music will clear away frustration and create a place of ethereal light, a place within yourself where hope defeats chaos and where good people always win.

Asian post rock

The Mongolian language uses more vowels than English, so the language sounds maternal and comforting.

Dulguun Bayasgalan - Magnolian

What is Magnolian?

Magnolian is composing a blend of indie folk music known for its calming style and soulful melodies. One of their most popular songs, Ovoljoo, perfectly captures the band’s spirit. The music video shows, with humor and irony, how the youngest generation of Mongolians sees itself in the context of the wider world.

Ovoljoo exists in both English and Mongolian, but rumor has it most of the fans prefer to listen to the Mongolian version.

In 2016, the band’s first opus, Famous Men hit the charts and launched a flurry of performances at summer festivals. They traveled throughout Asia and the USA, and even played at the famous SXSW in Texas! If you fancy listening to Leonard Cohen, this vibe will sound familiar to you.

This year, a second record, Slow Burn (here is the video) was released in September 2020. The vinyl is slated for release. For the curious, some of the songs are available on YouTube, showing the band playing live in a Mongolian Yurt.

Who is behind it?

We reached out to Dulguun Bayasgalan: lead singer, guitarist and composer for Magnolian. He is the art director of nearly all the band’s music videos. At last but not least, Dulguun founded with his partner Khongor the amazing and always crowded Fat Cat Jazz Club in Ulaanbaatar. Which is the main reason why he playing along with talented jazz musicians in his albums.

In the interview, we discovered a dreamer passionate about author movies and fictional characters. An artist gazing at the world but also a politician rejecting the status quo with flowers and compassion. We felt the honesty of a self-sufficient person not arrogantly seeking fame, but simply calling us to enjoy the immense beauty of our simple human condition.

Asian Folk rock

When I write music I try to capture the emotions that I like and deliver to other people. I consider songwriting more emotional than technical.

Dulguun Bayasgalan

The Indie rock scene in Mongolia

By representing Folk rock music in Mongolia, Magnolian’s flow is bridging a significant gap between modern culture and previous generations. Thirty years ago, rock, folk and protest songs such as Bob Dylan or Led Zeppelin were banned in Mongolia due to the Iron Curtain.

Composing or performing such music was a great struggle, and instead people would secretly buy and listen to the work of Western singers. Magnolian has succeeded in creating an authentic modern music for Mongolia, weaving Western vibes dyed with Mongolian vocals and visuals.

After a few years of formation, the band now has a stable fan base and style. The future is full of possibilities, and we can’t decide if we wish for the band to remain as it is or to skyrocket to a much larger audience. Time will tell, but we are delighted to witness this spirit of fantasy rising out of Ulaanbaatar.

If you wanna know more:

Website, Instagram, FacebookBandcamp

Author: Adrien de Ville,

Co-author: Gregory Greif

Picture credit: Hiroshi, Chayodu, Studi3

Magnolian music Mongolia

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