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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

It’s All True: Malinda makes waves, mixes styles

Photo by Audrey Milk ’26.

Last Tuesday, Sept. 19, fans piled into First Avenue, 7th St. Entry for the ninth stop on Malinda’s It’s All True U.S. tour. From as far as Fargo N.D. and as close as St. Paul, her fans have stuck with her throughout her career and through many different eras of music and content production. 


Malinda Kathleen Reese, known professionally as Malinda, is a Washington D.C. native who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Before Malinda released her own music, she went viral online for her comedy Youtube series “Google Translate Sings” which she started in 2014 on the channel currently known as “Twisted Translations”. In 2017, she released her first EP “Love Letter” containing seven songs.


Over the pandemic, Malinda gained a following on TikTok singing sea shanty style music and playing Irish whistles. In 2021, she released two Celtic style EPs, “The Folks I Love” and “Sea to Sky”, containing her versions of traditional Celtic tunes, covers of modern music with an Irish flare and even one original song. 


Malinda released her debut album, “It’s All True,” on April 28, 2023. This Celtic pop album contains 10 songs with varying themes and messages. Instead of traditional music videos, Malinda directed and starred in a visual album: It’s All True, which premiered in theaters on May 20, 2023. This movie puts all of the songs from the album into a timeline that, according to the film description, tells the story of “falling apart and putting yourself back together again as the world does the same”.


Although Malinda has done smaller tours along the east coast of the United States, the It’s All True tour, announced on May 1, 2023, is a voyage across the nation stopping in 27 different cities in 16 different states. 


Now officially on her first coast to coast tour, Malinda is looking forward to nearly sold out concerts, choosing to keep her venues smaller in order to feel the connection with the crowds. She is learning longer term tour tricks and forming traditions, including motion sickness glasses for the long tour bus rides and her cup of tea during sound check, where she sits with those who have elected for the VIP experience. 


During the VIP meet and greet, Malinda talked with the audience and answered questions, sharing that the song she wished she was able to include in the set was “I Miss Her And I Blame You”, and that she misses her dog Selanna, who remained home with her parents.


When the doors opened to the general audience, the room filled with an air of excitement, and fans chatted and sang to pre-recorded music as they waited for the show to start. Opener Lizzie Weber welcomed fans to the show with enthusiasm, expressing her excitement over being there tonight. 


She sang songs like “Paris,” “Space” and “Heart-Shaped Box,” taking the time to explain her personal connection to each song and what inspired them. “Space,” the last song Weber played, is from her most recent album, “Fidalgo,” inspired by the distance between herself and her husband during his time serving in active duty. 


After Weber’s opening act, Malinda came out with her bright blue thrifted jacket bejeweled with anchors, stars and ship helms. Joined by fiddle player Claire Wellin and drummer Sarah Gooch, Malinda routinely plays a variety of Irish whistles and flutes in her shows to accompany her vocals and the background music. She began her set with a Sean-nós style song, which segued into “Brooklyn”, the first single released off of the It’s All True album. Sean-nós, which simply translates to “Old Style”, is a traditional style of Irish singing. Brooklyn is a jazzy folk pop piece that has a 5/4 time signature, which is fairly unusual. 


Malinda sang multiple songs from her newest album “It’s All True,” including the title song of the same name, “Figured Out”, “Every Other Love Song” and “Between Us and Them”, the story of different generations learning the meaning of war. Malinda also played her song “I’m Not There Yet”, accompanied by her story of coming out online as a queer woman, and how that inspired the song. 


“Dúlamán” is a traditional Irish song that Malinda released her own version of in 2021. The word “Dúlamán” translates to seaweed, leading to many lighthearted jokes about how it is the best song about Gaelic seaweed. 


Other notable singles played throughout the night include “Wild One”, “Don’t Make Me”, “More With You” and “Breaking Breathing”, her most recently released song. This song is about listening to yourself and taking time to lift yourself up. 


Halfway through the set, Claire Wellin played an original song “It’ll Pass” by her band, Youth In A Roman Field. This was a special addition to the set list for this particular night of the tour, as many members of Wellin’s family were in the audience. Wellin gave a special shout out to the female members of her family, joking that since her mother was there she would dedicate the song to her as well. 


Escalating the excitement throughout the show, Malinda played crowd favorites “Galway Girl,” an Ed Sheeran cover, and “Drunken Sailor” back to back, getting the crowd to clap and stomp their feet along with the rhythmic beat. “Drunken Sailor” initially became popular on TikTok, during what Malinda affectionately called her “sea shanty” era, thanking fans for sticking with her as she explores her musical interests and works towards finding her sound. 


Throughout the show, Malinda exhibited impressive crowd control, at times dividing the crowd to provide an echo effect for her songs, and encouraging a call and response at others. At one point, she even had the entire audience hum a single note together, providing a a background for Malinda to sing over. With a wave of her hand, she was easily able to silence the group or trigger an outburst of enthusiastic harmonies. 


Since her first tour, Malinda has closed out each of her shows with the song “The Parting Glass,” which became a custom when during her first tour at a show in Philadelphia, P.A., an older gentleman in the front row bought all the performers a bottle of wine and asked them to toast. Malinda continues the tradition by having the crowd sing along with her during the song, and ending the show with a chorus of “Good night and joy be to you all”.


Check out Malinda’s music at or by searching “Malinda” on any music streaming platform.


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About the Contributors
Lucy Diaz
Lucy Diaz, Managing Editor
Lucy Diaz '24 is a Managing Editor, from Montclair, NJ. She is a biology major with a horrifying combination of minors/concentrations that includes psychology, biochemistry and community & global health. She owns earrings that say "Be Gay do Crimes," a tiny chemistry beaker filled with d20 dice, and knows a lot about medieval european monarchy.
Audrey Milk
Audrey Milk, Opinion Editor
Audrey Milk ’26 (she/her) is the opinion editor from Mars, Pa. She is a history major with a minor in political science and a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. Audrey has been doing competitive color guard for five years and is attempting to learn how to juggle.

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