Magdalia is Melbourne’s rising star crafting ethereal indie folk-pop spells

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Magdalia is Melbourne’s rising star crafting ethereal indie folk-pop spells

Words by Talia Rinaldo 

In Melbourne's ever-impressive music scene, Magdalia shines bright as a 24-year-old musical alchemist, captivating audiences with her soul-stirring vocals, enchanting lyrics and captivating blend of indie folk-pop.

Inspired by the likes of Lorde, Taylor Swift, and Florence and the Machine, Magdalia – the creative alter ego of Brodie O’Halloran – casts a modern-day spell with her music. Her songs weave introspective reflections, heartfelt storytelling, and dreamy melodies into a spellbinding tapestry that keeps listeners spellbound.

Originally from Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, Magdalia’s musical journey began at the tender age of eight, fuelled by a passion for singing instilled by her family.

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“I started singing when I was eight years old,” she recalls, “my mum wanted to learn to sing when she was younger and didn’t get the chance so she made sure I had the opportunity to get lessons.

“I discovered pretty quickly that I felt like I could be my true self when I was performing. I had never been able to express my emotions so freely before and it was life-changing to have something where I could do that.”

As she refined her skills over the years, her voice blossomed into a formidable instrument, drawing her towards the art of songwriting, using music as a means of expressing her innermost thoughts and feelings. Now a singing teacher at Creative Souls Studio, Magdalia’s music defies easy classification, blending elements from indie, alternative pop, and even musical theatre, creating a sound uniquely her own.

“Anything that has big vocals and poetic lyrics is right up my alley. I always try to write lyrics that connect with the audience and I find that these genres are great at doing that,” she says. “As a teacher I get introduced to all sorts of music and I think this plays a part in how I write too, even if I don’t really know it.”

Magdalia has already released several impressive originals, from the raw vulnerability of ‘Great Expectations’ to the haunting beauty of ‘Fault Lines’ and her latest single, ‘Hold It Up’, featuring Mayzie Chew, showcasing her evolving musical prowess.

Packed with evocative melodies and thought-provoking lyrics, much of Magdalia’s music draws from her own experiences, serving as a form of catharsis during difficult times. ‘The House On Stanley’, for instance, was penned after the loss of her aunt, offering a means of processing grief. Similarly, ‘Great Expectations’ was written following her autism diagnosis in 2021, helping her come to terms with her identity.

“I was very confused and overwhelmed with all this new information and not sure of where my place was in the world, so writing that song helped me come to terms with it and it’s now one of my favourites to perform.”

Exploring themes of love, loss, and the human experience with authenticity and depth, Magdalia hopes to offer solace and understanding to listeners, acknowledging the universal struggles and experiences we all share. 

“My songs tend to deal with lots of universal experiences and feelings so I think on that level they are easy to connect with. If my songs can spark some sort of emotion in someone,” she says, “then I’m happy. That’s the way I’ve always approached music and performance.”

But it’s on stage where Magdalia truly shines, her emotive vocals and captivating presence leaving audiences spellbound. Like her inspiration, Florence Welch, Magdalia’s performances are simple yet mesmerising, as she pours her heart and soul into every song.

“I love that I can truly express myself. As an autistic woman sometimes I find self-expression difficult so having an outlet for that is so important,” she says. “When I perform live and when I make music I feel like I’m able to connect with people on a level I don’t usually get so it’s really special for me.”

With accolades like being the runner-up at the Festival of Sails emerging artist stage and performing at the Grand Final of the Listen Up Songwriting Prize in Sydney, Magdalia’s star is on the rise. Despite her success, she remains grounded in her passion for creating music that resonates with others.

With her first headline show in March and plans for an EP in the works, Magdalia shows no signs of slowing down. Her music promises to leave a lasting impression on all who hear it, offering a blend of introspection, emotion, and ethereal beauty.

For fans of Lorde’s introspective lyricism, Taylor Swift’s emotive storytelling, and Florence and the Machine’s dreamy melodies, Magdalia is a rising star to watch.

Keep up with the latest from Magdalia here