Out of the San Francisco Bay Area, we're blessed with the sweet musical stylings of Kate Magdalena once again as she releases her heartfelt single, "Shores of Avalon."
Creating a genre which she calls 'Timely Americana,' Kate blends the likes of adult Contemporary/Folk with modern-day lyrical inspiration surrounding present times.
With her latest single "Shores of Avalon," Kate sets sail into this poetic songwriting approach and expresses the need for bravery during these unnerving times. Through slow and melodic folk instrumentals, we're able to drift into space with the warm touch of natural acoustics and Kate's angelic vocals.
"Shores of Avalon" opens with mesmerizing acoustic guitar strings, celestial pads, and Kate Magdalena's pure vocals. While she begins singing, her lyricism pitches camp in our hearts with a beautifully poetic approach.
Singing about keeping courage to move forward from past turmoil, she also mentions someone who has her heart dearly yet who's apart from Kate due to an unforeseen situation.
As her vocals grow to be incredibly powerful and anthemic, we're met with a steady drumbeat and vibrant strings that keep the song soaring amongst the clouds. Towards the outro, added electric guitar brings a captivating aspect and exudes power like no other.
Kate Magdalena has yet to release a track that doesn't reach the depths of our souls, especially with "Shores of Avalon," we're ready to set sail into whatever our heart desires.
How have you been coping with these unpredictable times, have you been working on more music?
I am happy to have an opportunity to speak with you because my social interactions are somewhat limited these days because of all that’s going on. I’ve been coping by doing lots of research into the background of what is going on because things are not as they seem generally speaking when large world events like this occur, and in fact, it is the desire to understand them that has led to my songwriting. I am working now on writing some new songs and I’m also working on releasing many of the songs that I was able to record last year. I’ve released three songs already from a new album that will be out this summer called “The Water Is Wide”. The album will be released on August 14, and interestingly, it contains nine songs of place, both water, and land.
Through your previous interview with us, you mentioned that your sound 'Timely Americana' stems from many different genres and the need to educate others on today's issues. What are some common lyrical themes within your music?
Good question. I’m not sure of the answer. Some of my songs are actually poems that I’ve set to music and the themes can vary but strike me as beautiful in some way. For example on my upcoming album #TheWaterIsWide, I have set a poem that is just gorgeous by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, called “the Cloths of Heaven,“ and it’s about not treading on someone’s dreams. There’s also a song about going to the ocean. Nature is a big theme in both its beauty and protecting it. I’ve done a song about GMO‘s and several songs about Geoengineering, that is the spraying of our sky with chemicals to alter the weather patterns. I’ve written songs about the homeless, and about the need to protect the natural world, that’s a big theme! The song I’m working on now that’s been eluding me is a song about love and an island called Ireland. It’s also a song about seed and how the seed can exist in the heart for a whole lifetime before it flowers sometimes.
Moving on to your recent single "Shores of Avalon," KateMagdalena's lyricism is incredibly detailed, heartfelt, and poetic. Could you take us through what inspired the single?
Well, actually my producer Billy Smiley suggested it to me. He’s the one that introduced me to this song and I think he fell in love with the song because of its beauty. It was written by the California songwriter and singer Tina Malia. She wrote it envisioning the passing of her mother from this world to the next. I love how she envisioned it as Avalon because I love those myths. Myth and legend are what our world needs right now. We have lost the cohesive myths that keep a culture alive and thriving.
Speaking on your single "Shores of Avalon," you crafted the lyrics with such precision. What was your songwriting process like, and what kind of story were you aiming to tell through the single?
Just to be clear, I didn’t write it. But I love the story that is created in the song of leaving this world and looking back but not going back because there’s nothing to go back to. Rather the focus is forward and that is into the large cosmic world which awaits us after we leave this one. I think this is an important division for us to hold right now as our present life is so uncertain. We need to feel that a larger life holds this one.
"Shores of Avalon" delivers these emotional and melodic instrumentals. Since you don't necessarily conform with any genre, what sound were you trying to reach with this song? How did you want listeners to feel?
I think I do really have a genre, and I would call it Adult Contemporary. I always try for the most beautiful sound that I can make within the character that needs to be delivered for the song. That is the kind of song that moves the listener in ways that really step out of genre but simply exist in the power of emotion and poetry to move the ear and the heart. I think that is what Shores of Avalon does. What moves me is the life that exists outside of the one we are living. The invisible life that informs this one, the supernatural. I think this song evokes some of that larger world.
Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, how has living there helped your music thrive? Does the music scene serve your inspiration to keep writing your own music?
What a great question. Unfortunately, I would have to answer that I have not really entered into the San Francisco music scene. Honestly, I don’t really feel part of that scene but much more at home in the Nashville music scene. Partly, I think it’s that I’m shy and have found San Francisco hard to penetrate. Also, I’m a Christian and I love country music and so I think I fit in really well in Nashville. And that is where I ended up recording and perhaps will one day be living there as well. I recently bought a house there with the idea that my family and I could live there and I could pursue music there but everything now is unpredictable because of what’s going on. But I consider myself to have two homes! I’m originally from New York City actually, and I came out to California as a young woman to pursue the offbeat world of the Bay Area.
On a more personal note, how have you seen your music change or evolve since your first releases?
Yes, I think my music has evolved, and I really would credit a large part of that to my producer Billy Smiley who has brought me the best musicians and the most wonderful tracks to record on top of. He has made me sound the way I’ve always wanted to sound. I’m so grateful that I have had an opportunity to record with him over the last two years. I think I’ve become more confident in my own sound and my own voice as an artist.
It's been great chatting with you again, Kate Magdalena. Would you care to share any upcoming news about your career, and what plans you have for the rest of 2020?
I am planning to release my next album, “The Water Is Wide, “and after that my hope is to get back to Nashville and complete yet one more album. I’m also releasing an EP for Christmas with five or six Christmas carols. And basically I’m just hoping to keep my sanity day by day as our country is going through this difficult time. It really is my hope that my music might provide beauty and joy during this time. Thank you so much BuzzMusic for the opportunity to share!