Bowen Island-based singer-songwriter Mary Kastle’s brand-new single King of My Heart contains the profound wonder of one of life’s most powerful transitions – becoming a parent. She wrote it when her baby boy was only a few months old and found herself grappling with her new role as a mother while witnessing her own magnanimous surrender to the power inherent in future generations.
In a world that seems increasingly violent, cruel, and isolated, it can feel almost absurd to bring a child into it deliberately. Yet the timeless endurance of human connection and the possibilities awakened in a child’s boundless energy are both grounding and liberating. It’s from here that Mary writes, now a mother of two, harnessing the power of music and the creative arts to transcend the chaos of our modern, hyper-productive world.
The song then inspired the video – a quirky DIY production, which features ‘Hugo’, an endearing puppet-boy that Mary hand-built for the project. Originally conceived as a series of ‘selfie’ videos evoking popular mommy-blogger fodder, Mary was in the process of filming a mock-up using a silly stuffed giraffe when she and her husband quickly realized the symbolic power of using a handcrafted toy over a real baby. He volunteered to puppeteer and thus began the long process of learning to build and manipulate puppets. Then, in collaboration with Cam Hayduk from Bowen Island-based Turtle Box Productions, the team refined the narrative of each shot, from the frustrating to the hilarious, creating the quintessential “parenting” story.
Musically, King of My Heart embraces a daring forthrightness and soulful groove that reflects her signature blend of jazz, pop, and folk influences. Mary worked with notable Bowen Island-based producer Winston Hauschild (Hannah Georgas, Wanting, Nat Jay) and tapped a vintage edgy soul sound that brought the song to life. The song features a host of local Bowen Island and Vancouver-based jazz musicians including Buff Allen on drums, Matt Reid on bass, Teun Schut on guitar, and Alicia Hansen and Dawn Pemberton (Canada’s “Queen of Soul”) on back-up vocals.
Lyrically, Mary tells the story of a child going beyond its history and genetics to realize a future full of mystery and potential. “You are greater than the sum of your parts,” she says, before encouraging the child to “Take your throne, and own it.” The catchy lyrics in the chorus tell of the mother giving her child “Whatever you want, to give you a good head start” and connect us to that implicit benevolence that implores parents to do right by their children and help them to cultivate their own unique path forward.
Building on a discography that includes Beneath the Folds (2010), produced by Steve Dawson and released on Black Hen Music, and two previously self-released EPs Another Swing (2008) and Fresh Air (2007), King of My Heart marks the next important page in Mary’s musical career, documenting her maturation as an innovative Canadian songwriter, storyteller, and artist.