By Aaron Coultier & Staff
Kate Magdalena’s impressive rendition of “Downtown” is a refreshing and dynamic interpretation of the Petula Clark classic. The song is slightly modernized without detracting from the integrity and direction of the original while showcasing Kate’s magnetic performance. The arrangements stay faithful to the original, with a few instrumentation changes with the string replacing the trumpet. The Instrumentation is well-developed, but uncluttered with a tasty sonic bouquet of piano, guitar and strings
The vocals are graceful and expertly performed. Kate has a dynamic command of her instrument. She seems to have a voice that’s had a background in theater, or something similar, as her use of dynamics throughout are extremely well-thought and tasteful. Each time the chorus comes around, there’s a really nice build up emotionally that’s represented throughout all the instrumentation, but especially the voice.
Each time I listen from the pre-chorus into the chorus, I have this expectation that Kate is going explode into a powerful belting voice on the “DOWN-TOWN” that never quite occurs which is actually a really nice surprise! Her control is just amazing. Though Kate is choosing a more subtle approach, there’s a hint of a powerful set of pipes that could tear the roof off if she chose to. As a result, the vocal never feels overbearing or out of place. This kind of restraint and use of subtlety shows a depth of maturity that any vocalist (myself included) would do well to pay attention to. It allows the song to simmer, unfold, and maintain an excitement that is under the sreet lights.
Producer and songwriter Tony Hatch’s "Downtown," is about the beautiful New York City, the city that never sleeps. The heart of a city is downtown, and he wrote the lyrics to emphasize NYC's beauty and wonder. “The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. So go downtown, things'll be great when you're Downtown, no finer place for sure. Downtown everything's waiting for you. You can always go to NYC, since the city never sleeps.” The talented Kate Magadelena cover of "Downtown" is full of life. It represents the whimsy and grandiosity of NYC. Kate’s unique style gives the song a new vibrance and allure to grand New York City.
For more information, please visit Kate Magdalena's website.
About Kate Magdalena
Kate Magdalena is an independent singer-songwriter out of New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, whose songs have been aired on country radio nationally. Most at home in folk-pop and adult contemporary, she calls her genre ‘Timely Americana’, as she is inspired to write for the particular times in which we live. Kate was selected by BWH Music (Boston) as one of 2020 Women to Watch: Best Female Independent Artists, and her recent album “The Water Is Wide” was just awarded Best Album in the Adult Contemporary genre in the 2020 W.A.M. Awards. The album, released in August 2020, contains 9 songs of water and land, including the iconic covers “Downtown” and “I Know A Heartache When I See One,” as well as several original songs crafted from well-loved poems like “The Waking,” (nominated for Best Song, Social Justice 2020 W.A.M.) “Sea Fever,” and “Cloths of Heaven.” On this album is also Magdalena’s song “Backstory” about some of what we are witnessing now; the song was nominated for a W.A.M. Award in the social justice category.
In November of 2019, Magdalena released her second album of songs, with Grammy nominated producer Billy Smiley (Johnny Cash, WhiteHeart, Clay Aiken) titled “A Larger Dance” with singles – Be the Lark, New Earth, Battle Hymn, Streets of Any Town. The full album includes songs by Joan Armatrading, Leonard Cohen, Sinead O’Connor, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The title track “A Larger Dance” was chosen by BWH Music as one of the best songs of 2019.
Kate’s first album “Acquainted With the Night” was released in 2018 and contains the song “United (to Save the World)” (featured in the album “Peace Street” by BWH Music. Kate is at work on an EP for Christmas time, and on her album expected spring 2021, “CANYONLANDS.” She lives happily ever after with her husband Randall in Northern, CA and Franklin, TN.
“Now more than ever music can and must be used to spread truth, to protest against injustice, as well as to soothe, delight, and inspire. I hope that my music may do this.” - Kate Magdalena