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  • Bryon Harris

Kate Magdalena - 'Shores of Avalon'

Review by Patrick Joseph & Staff

The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' Kate Magdalena's album "The Water Is Wide" was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Album in the Country music category. Off the album, "Shores of Avalon" is a must listen.

“Shores of Avalon” is, as its title may suggest, a song of epic proportion. Folksy yet eclectic, gentle yet strong, this is a piece of music that is layered and intricate. At first, cascading melodies fly over colorful and airy acoustic guitar chords and a heavenly keyboard pad. If the song never ventured outside of this sonic realm it would be plenty to carry a typical song. This song, however, is anything but typical and it continues to evolve into a monstrous rhythmic pattern, and eventually into a dense and masterful bridge.

Lyrically, “Shores of Avalon” is like a fantasy adventure. Casting mystical language on themes of moving on and change provides this song with a specific emotional tone which is perfectly supported by its music: “The other night you came to me, Like an angel you appeared, And we climbed the endless sky and held each other near.” There is a desirable feeling of well being that lives in this song: “There we’ll stand, Looking out upon the world we’ve know, Our fear will be gone, When we reach the shores of Avalon”

Like any great epic, “Shores of Avalon” contains an ending which invokes peace and resolution. Production values are formidable. Courageous arrangement choices including the use of audio processing on the vocals, and a “knofler-esqe” guitar feature which keeps an already fresh song even more interesting.

Magdalena’s beautiful vocals build from an angelic tone into a strong earthy delivery. Wise melodic choices and her effortless delivery create a glue that holds this huge song together.

"Be brave my love

Our time has come

To cross the tintigal sea

The fragrant air

The apple blossom

Have all been beckoning"

One can only fully exhale, with complete music and lryical fulfillment, at the end of this poetic, noteworthy journey.


About Kate Magdalena

KateMagdalena 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.

For more information on Kate Magdalena, please visit her website.


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