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Mama Kin - The Magician's Daughter

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 5 / 5 / 2014

Mama Kin - The Magician's Daughter
Label: Star House Collective
Format: CD


Emotive second album from Australian singer-songwriter and soul musician, Mama Kin

There is a splendid rush of wonderful music coming out of Australasia at the moment. Hailing from Fremantle, Australia, Mama Kin is part raconteur and part all-out entertainer. With a widespread reputation for her unique blend of foot-stomping soul, heart-wrenching ballads and stirring live shows, Mama Kin is back with a swag of new songs, a shift in sonic direction and a new band member.'The Magician's Daughter' is her sophomore album and the follow-up to her debut album 'Beat and Holler', which essentially was a soulstress’ war cry, spanning the riotous and the raw. This is an album that promises to take us deeper into the human condition, where the magic lives and it does it in some style too. I haven't heard old school soul that sounds this special for some time, and the album kicks off with a track that could feature in this writer's favourites at Christmas Time. The Doo Wop/early popcorn soul sound of 'Rescue' really is a breath of fresh air, and coupled with Hammond style keys will be on my CD player for some time to come. As will the rest of this album. This is exciting stuff. 'The Magician's Daughter' doesn't just flick soul in your face though. Mama Kin's bittersweet melodies rise and fall with stomping piano and swampy beats. There is a jazzy tribal feel to 'Red Wood River' upon which an infectious drum beat circles around Kin's haunting vocals. The intro to 'The Fire' feels like it has come out of the outback somewhere with its drifting, folky campfire sound. On both 'Bosom of Our Bed' and 'The River as She Runs' she sounds like a female Paolo Nutini, but with a bit of extra energy. In the middle of this album is 'Was It Worth It?', the first single from this album, which ushers in a new level of depth and potency upon which Mama Kin's vocals spectacularly hover between vulnerability and power. 'Give Me a Reason', which follows straight afterwards is a fine example of Mama Kin's ability to instantly switch from old school to catchy modern soul and is reminiscent of the Alabama Shakes. 'Cherokee Boy' is a ballad of epic lyrical proportions upon which Mama Kin pours her heart out. "I'm a shadow without you,/I'm just an empty shell", she sings recalling the early Tracy Chapman before adding the heartbreaking line of "All that's left of you is six foot underground." 'I'll Be Ready', the last track on this immense album, is one that could grace any big budget film soundtrack, and one of the best pop records to come out of the Southern Hemisphere in recent years! This album is named after Mama Kin's mother who is a real life magician's daughter, and is well named too. This is a magical record. I can't wait for the next album.

Track Listing:-
1 Rescue
2 One Too Many
3 Red Wood River
4 Bosom of Our Bed
5 Was It Worth It
6 Give Me a Reason
7 The Fire
8 The River as She Runs
9 Cherokee Boy
10 I'll Be Ready

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Interview (2014)
Mama Kin - Interview
Dave Goodwin speaks to rising Australian singer-songwriter Mama Kin on her first British tour about her extraordinary second album, 'The Magician's Daughter'

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