• Bryon Harris

Kate Magdalena - 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'

Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff

Vocal powerhouse Kate Magdalena returns with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” a haunting and impactful rendition of the 16th century Christmas classic. Though traditionally, the carol was written with a minor tonality, Kate and company took what was done before and somehow made it even more dramatic in the best possible way.

The piece has been reimagined to retain all the epic qualities of the original but now revitalized with a slower, more brooding tempo and even warmer tonality. The inclusion of lush vocal harmonies, tribal percussion and a blend of both acoustic and atmospheric lead guitars, make me feel like this could easily be found on a Yes record. As I said before, there’s a rich and deep quality to this interpretation, but in an emotional sense. Seeing as I’m a metal guy who loves progressive rock, the minor tonality, instrumentation, and slow, hypnotic pulse of the piece really appeals to my tastes. Seriously, it’s awesome!

As usual, Kate sings with authority and grace as she commands her own rendition of the stirring original melody over the aforementioned percussion and guitars with hints of piano and synth. The sonic picture painted here is lush and nearly palpable. As an aspiring mix engineer, I’m taking notes. I can only imagine how good everything must sound on Vinyl!

In short, I’m confident that fans of the classic carol will find this presentation of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” staying with them long after even after just one listen. Kate Magdalenas song, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen will be on WNIR's, "Holiday Spectacular" radio show, airing every night from December 15 - December 31st at 6:30pm. Connect on Facebook.

Stream on Spotify.

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


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.


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