Recently, master acoustic guitarist Kaki King—fresh off the release of her immersive live album, Live at Berklee—decided to take a stab at a couple of things she hadn't tried before: producing and running her own record label. The artist she chose to make her debut with on both ventures is the artist whose debut single we're delighted to premiere today, Treya Lam.
Adopted from Taiwan by first-generation Chinese-American immigrants, Lam has shared stages with Yo Yo Ma and Billy Taylor. "Magic," the first taste from the multi-instrumentalist's debut LP, Good News, is a beautifully eclectic song. Blissful pedal steel tones mingle perfectly with the song's otherwise baroque arrangement, giving both the euphoric and tragic elements of the song's narrative time to shine.
You can give the stellar track a listen for yourself above.
"'Magic' is one of the earliest songs written for this record and one of my favorite mixes by Erin Tonkon," Lam explained to Guitar World. "In 2012 one of my closest friends had just given birth to a child and it was composed as a gift for the family. The couple met on a flight to Hawaii after having spent some time in Africa and I had hoped to allude to this by incorporating the mbira, ukelele and slide guitar."
"The chorus was written the week that the Sandy Hook shooting took place. Beyond the unspeakable loss of 20 children and 6 adults, I was horrified by the idea that the surviving children in that community would lose their childhoods," Lam continued. "The words 'Take your time little child, don't you go a growing up too fast now. The world is full of magic, it's wonderful it's fragile, let's try to make this last' came like a mantra. This is not a song about a perfect world but rather one that aims to encourages listeners of all ages to look for, hold onto and create as much magic as we can."
"'Magic' is such a stand out track for me on Treya Lam’s new record, Good News," King added. "It’s an elegant song celebrating the birth of a child, but the lyrics remind us all that the world is in fact full of magic and that it’s never too late for a happy childhood. Even more touching is the fact that the baby’s mother, Megan Faye, played violin and ukulele on the recording. Catherine Popper came up with the loveliest bass line for an added bounce, and what would a song about a child born in Hawaii be without a touch of lap steel? This piece perfectly encapsulates both the personal and the timeless sound of Good News."
Good News is set for a June 8 release via King's new label, Short Stuff Records.
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