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  • Bryon Harris

Kate Magdalena – ‘Canyonlands’

Review by Matt Wong

“Canyonlands” is a warm and poetic Americana song by Kate Magdalena. The song kicks off with a guitar lick and is joined by the full-sound of organ, bass, drums, a second electric guitar, and acoustic guitar. Capping off the introduction is a nice call and response figure between piano and slide guitar. The arrangement is inviting and very well-conceived.

The energy of the intro makes way for the entrance of Magdalena’s expressive vocal performance which is accompanied by acoustic guitar. Magdalena has excellent diction and phrasing, making her a contemporary singer who sounds polished and poised. The chorus of "Canyonlands" blooms with well executed background vocals and wide guitars.

"Canyonlands are calling us, can you hear the sound? Traveling the sands of time from eucaplyptus ground."

The lyrics in “Canyonlands” are an homage to the music of the 1960's, specifically the Lauren Canyon sound, which brought us amazing artists such as Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and Joni Mitchell. Lyrics such as “Have you never felt the shadows eavesdrop from the laurel leaves” and “How the hillsides rang in technicolor sounds” are especially memorable.

“Canyonlands” by Kate Magdalena is a masterpiece of songwriting and performance. Once again, Magdalena delivers a song that features a great arrangement, effective production, and excellent musicianship. At the core of this truly well-written song is Magdalena’s powerhouse vocal ability, poetic lyricism and vocal phrasing. In "Canyonlands" Kate Magdalena pays homage to artists of the past who wrote timeless music and in doing so she shows that she can stand beside those admired artists with a timeless sound of her own. Her expression rings through the Canyons.

For more information, please visit Kate Magdalena's website.


About Kate Magdalena

Kate grew up to the sounds of music on Broadway in New York City, during the 1970's exploding singer-songwriter, folk, rock, and psychedelic music scene, featuring Crosby Stills and Nash, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and so many more artists who continue to inspire listeners worldwide.

Kate was a child of the ‘60’s, and when she came of age, she moved from the East Coast to San Francisco on a quest to discover the meaning of her life. Kate’s journey was an unusual one in that she did many other things before turning to music as her central career focus, and traveling many paths to arrive at where she is now.

Drawn to many different styles of music, she became enchanted by Irish-Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt, who conjures a lost world with her harp and singing. Kate intends to do the same! She is also enamored of artists like Rachel Platten, Sara Bareilles, and the controversial Sinead O’Connor, and many others.

Kate was raised in era in which people looked to the arts and music to inspire social activism. Like Dylan’s great songs, Kate’s songs address some of the pressing issues of our own day. She also sings of unity, hope, loss, and of the power of prayer in dealing with life’s many challenges. And she hopes that her own pursuit of her dream at age 62 might inspire others to follow their own cherished dreams regardless of barriers.


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