• Bryon Harris

Kate Magdalena - 'It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.'

Music Review by Ionas Finser

Kate Magdalena adopts the unmistakable role of ‘giver’ this holiday season, with her angelic cover of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.” Indeed, this song is a true gift to one’s ears and heart as the nights get longer and the weather gets colder.

Soft, breathy strings open this winter masterpiece, as a sliding, panning guitar makes its way into the mix. When Magdalena’s voice enters this relaxed, thriving musical environment, shivers fall down your spine like glistening snowflakes. The artist finds a way to create music that is gentle, yet ultimately harnesses the power to tug at one’s emotions. This can be seen in the way Magdalena uses deceptive cadences to continually bring in layers of depth and evocative textures.

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” has a wonderful way of connecting lyrics with music. For example, just as the singer says the words “harps of gold,” the harp in the background seems to shine through into the foreground. Magdalena’s voice is impressively confident, and for good reason. She has mastered what it means to provide the perfect melodic and emotional compliment to the harmony around her. It is a delight to listen to the way the artist dances around our ingrained knowledge of the traditional holiday melody.

Magdalena has created a piece of music that transcends any one season or holiday setting. She brings “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” to another level entirely, meant only to bring every human being into the sense of love and hope within us all. Add this song to the top of all of your holiday playlists, and a few more while you’re at it. Magdalena has once again set a precedent for truth and peace.


About Kate Magdalena

Kate Magdalena is an emerging independent artist out of the San Francisco Bay Area. She calls her genre “Timely Americana,” as she is inspired to write for the present, which has its unique critical challenges. Kate sees the world in robust transformation as the ripest subject for her songwriting, and her songs address such issues as the preservation of the natural world, homelessness, the political landscape, friendship and loss, and love of country.

This past November, Kate released her second album of original music, A Larger Dance, with Grammy nominated producer Billy Smiley (Johnny Cash, WhiteHeart, Clay Aiken). Her first single from this collection, “Take Me To Church,” was released in March, followed by “Be the Lark,” “Streets of Any Town,” and “New Earth.” She also includes songs by Leonard Cohen, Sinead O’Connor, and Crosby, Stills & Nash on the album.

A Larger Dance features some of Nashville's finest musicians – Fred Eltringham (The Wallflowers and Sheryl Crow), Byron House (Robert Plant and the Band of Joy), Blair Masters (Garth Brooks) and Brennan Smiley (The Technicolors).

Kate’s first album Acquainted With the Night was released in 2018 and contains the song “United (to Save the World)” which was featured in Peace Street by BWH Music Group. She is planning to release her third album Canyonlands in early summer 2020.

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

To listen to "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" and to access links to Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon, click here.

Listen to "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" on Spotify.

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