Review: A Common Thread of Folk & Soul Make KTG’s ‘Searching for Magpies’

KTG
Telling stories steeped in soul while weaving in and out of genres effortlessly makes KTG’s debut album ‘Searching for Magpies’ a success.
Stream: ‘Searching for Magpies’ – KTG


It is said that seeing a lone magpie brings bad luck, while seeing a group predicts the future.  Is this meant to keep us always searching for more? Is it meant to give us hope that something better is around the corner? In most cases, we’re living that way regardless. Going from one phase to another in search of what is next, all while keeping our eyes wide open for more. Folk singer/songwriter KTG concepted an album around this old wives’ tale. Telling her stories steeped in soul while weaving in and out of genres effortlessly, KTG created Searching for Magpies, an LP that keeps your ears entranced from start to finish.

She explains it best, “Searching for Magpies is my debut album and I’m so excited for it to be out.  It’s a concept album based all around the old wives’ tale about magpies.  Each song on the album is linked to a line from the rhyme. For example, “Don’t Tell My Mother” is 7 for a Secret never to be told. I have always been suspicious when It comes to the old wives’ tale and if I ever saw one magpie by itself I would automatically go searching for the second one. This fascination continued when I went up to college in Dublin and by the end of my four years in college I had all my friends searching for magpies with me as well.”

Searching for Magpies - KTG

Searching for Magpies – KTG

“December” starts the album off with gentle guitar picks introducing us to KTG’s captivating raspy, echoing and angelic voice. “December” embodies the feeling of being lost. The feeling of not knowing where you will go or what you will do when your world starts to slow down. The feeling of having to say goodbye to someone. Every once in a while, it is critical to slow down from the days in our life that start to blend together, look around, and decide what matters to us most. “December” is a reminder to do just that.

Where will I go, when the
world just won
’t slow down?
Where will I go, when the
air goes rushing out?
Breathe for me, for a moment

The album begins to pick up a bit with track 2, “Don’t Tell My Mother.” This song gently shifts genres, mixing in a bit of alt rock with the folksy singer-songwriter we were introduced to minutes ago. This track brings an edge and even an undertone of funk with the bass line to the album. “Don’t Tell My Mother” about having that relapse after a loss love. It’s about that one time you let yourself go back, knowing it’s wrong and knowing it can’t lead anywhere, but doing it anyway and not caring about all the reasons that you shouldn’t. Because after all, we’re only human.

‘Cause, I am not your toy,
most certainly no fool
You can’t create this game
only to break your own rules
So go ahead, see what you came to see,
Just don’t tell my mother
you came, to see me




Searching for Magpies gets even grittier with “Get Your Story Straight.” While “Don’t Tell My Mother” brought us alt and edge, “Get Your Story Straight” is almost a blues track. It’s a story that draws you in and makes you listen. There is a slight “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood level of iconic-ness to this song. His story isn’t straight. She knows it and she’s not sticking around for it; This song is a breakup anthem.

Again, the tone changes with the next track “Home farm.” It has a light and breezy Van Morrison feel that speaks about a true love. Musically and lyrically this song warms us. It sends a message of hope. KTG’s kind and welcoming voice eases through this song as if she’s been meant to sing these words all her life.

So, if you just allow me, to sing a little happy tune
We can lie and say that, its not about me and you
We can hide away, keep it all between us
But for now, I’ll break our
rules and write about us.
KTG

KTG

“Lost Boy” returns to the folksy singer/songwriter we were introduced to in the beginning of the album. There is a vulnerability and an unwavering amount of strength that comes through with this song. It builds slowly towards the end as she releases herself from something she’s not supposed to be apart of anymore.

I’ve been running and
running and running for this
I’ve been reaching and
reaching and stretching for this
I’ve been working and working
and working and working
and slaving all for this

The LP continues with “Never Go Home,” a soul/folk driven tune with a drum pattern unique and steady. This is one of those songs that makes you want to gather with friends, have a drink (or two or three) and do just as the title suggests, never go home. The unrelenting pattern of the drum matched with KTG’s bright vocals implore you to enjoy your life and to enjoy what you have – don’t wish it away for more.

Let’s go out on Friday,
don
’t go home ‘til Sunday night
We’ll keep dancing to the
stars and the moonlight
Don’t listen to those voices in your head
You won’t be alive longer than you’ll be dead
Nobody remembers the nights,
you spend alone
We’ll never go home




“Strawberries” closes out the album weaving another genre into the mix – almost an ’80s disco vibe, but still with the KTG undertone of folk and soul that ties Searching For Magpies together. She ends the album in a way that leaves us not even just wanting, but needing more. The way she effortlessly weaves in and out of genres, following no rules but her own, is the reason why music exists. It’s not meant to be put into boxes. It’s meant to be what It is to whomever is creating it, and that is exactly how KTG has done it.

She puts it best, “I’m really, really proud of the work that myself and the Beardfire team have put into this album.  For so long I have been saying, “yeah the album is coming the album is coming” and now that it’s finally here I’m so excited. I really tried to incorporate my love for all genres and I’ve tried with the Beardfire team to have each song incorporated with folk and some other genre. Because for so long I didn’t know where I stood in the music industry in terms of what genre I was so I’ve just decided now I want to try it all and not conform to one specific thing and I just hope this album shows that! This album really shows not only the growth of my songwriting but the growth of my acceptance of myself.”

We’re just at the tip of the iceberg with KTG – It seems there’s nothing she can’t do, and we’re excited to see what she comes up with next.



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Searching for Magpies - KTG

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Searching for Magpies

an album by KTG

 


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Kelly has been with Atwood since its earliest days in 2014. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, now based in New Orleans, LA and has been singing, writing, playing guitar and piano for almost all of her life. Music drives everything she does. She brings her unique perspective with each piece, always open to discovering something or someone new.