Kate Magdalena embodies the beauty of bluesy 60s folk with the lovely “Canyonlands”. The instrumental creativity within it has a splendor, pastoral in nature. A sheer force of nature at times, her voice rises above the rest of the din. Sung with such determination there is a clear-eyed gaze to the piece. Rhythms have a deliberate pacing to them, nicely dovetailing with the growth of the sound overall. Nor does she let up, right from the beginning her intensity becomes readily apparent. Words are chosen with care and the verses flow downward with their own unique poetry. Rather elegant in its buildup, the nods to singers like Vashti Bunyan appear unavoidable, for she pours all of herself into the hearty sound.
A gentle open of sorts, the brush of the drums alongside the laid-back aura of the guitar adds to the warm welcoming presence of the performance. From there she lets her voice carry the rest of the way. Sheer duration of the song makes it akin to a classical suite in many ways, for the sound seemingly sprawls out into the infinite. With the right level of fire behind it, the song grows and grows. Tempos, once understated, also rise above as the entirety of the work becomes a beguiling maze. For the final stretch it completely lets go, in a way that feels particularly earned.
“Canyonlands” shows off the impeccable storytelling of Kate Magdalena in exploring a universe that has a classic, timeless quality about it.