Americana singer-songwriter Andrea Magee releases her second album, Belfast Girl, a love letter from Andrea to her family in Belfast.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Andrea’s sound blends elements of country, blues, and pop-rock into delicious sonic concoctions, highlighted by her sui generis, alluring voice.
In 2016, she moved to the U.S. with collaborator Ben Jones. Together, they formed the musical duo Beat Root Revival. While touring globally with the likes of Brian Wilson, Jonathan Jackson, and Brian Setzer, Andrea polished her remarkable voice to a high sheen, dripping with subtle nuances, elegant colors, and profound emotions.
A gorgeous contradiction—Andrea Magee is exuberant, passionate, vulnerable, and sensitive—but also tough, tenacious, and compelling; an enigma mirrored in her exquisitely evocative music.
Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Andrea Magee to discover more about the person behind the music, the inspiration for Belfast Girl, and her writing process.
What inspired your new album, Belfast Girl?
‘Belfast Girl’ came about after a long period of time (during lockdown) when I was unable to travel home. This affected me greatly, I was longing to connect with my roots and my family and plug into that unconditional love and acceptance and I couldn’t access it, so I put it into songs.
Walk us through your mindset as you entered the studio to record the album.
Honesty, authenticity, and truth. At times it felt a little icky as it meant so much and I wanted to get it right and honor the songs, but with love and support, I got there and created an honest album from the heart.
How did you get started in music?
I started in my family band when I was 7 years old and have not stopped yet,
Where are you from?
I am from Belfast in Ireland and now currently live in Austin TX
Did your hometown impact your sound?
I grew up surrounded by music. My family band was steeped in Irish music and my schooling in classical and modern music. Music has always been a part of my world in every chapter of my life.
Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?
Naturally. I picked up my bodhran drum at the age of 7 in an Irish session and I was taught to listen first. Listening is a big part of how I create and play music. I have always included my roots in my sound but also let my experiences and a fusion of all that I love become a part of my sound.
What kind of guitar do you play?
I play a 1967 Gibson southern jumbo. I found it in a vintage guitar store in Tulsa Ok and it was love at first sight. I wrote the entire album on this guitar.
What is your definition of tone? And has your tone changed over time?
I have always been attracted to warm, round, ethereal tones that are rich and you feel them in your core. In this album this has been beautifully articulated by Dave Scher, he has created a rainbow of tone and sounds throughout this body of work.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?
I draw inspiration from everything. An experience, a conversation, a stranger, a poem, an animal, nature… the list is endless and has no boundaries. If it connects and moves me, I can usually feel inspired by it.
What can you share about your writing process?
It always starts with a feeling. Good or bad, it’s an intense feeling that has its own power. I usually sit with it for a little time and then it finds its way into musical form. It is and always has been a place for me to place my emotions.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
I am very inspired by Brandi Carlile and her movement with female artists and how collectively she is showcasing new and old artists, along with her own music. I love all that she is putting into the world right now.
What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? Music videos? Live gigs?
My BIG album release show will be at The 04 center in ATX, I am putting a lot into this event and am excited to host a release show like no other for ‘Belfast Girl.’ After this, yes, I have a couple more music videos and assets coming to showcase some of the material on this new album, lots of live shows, and some touring on the books.