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Madie - EP Review: Modern Mind

18 Nov 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

Wellington-based singer songwriter Madie is releasing her debut EP titled The Modern Mind. She has been passionate about music from a young age, and has finally released something with a lot of talent, and a lot of depth. With a preeminent focus on mental health, this EP is exactly what our modern world needs in the face of stigma, ill-repute, fear and shame. She challenges these condemnations with a captivating and powerful voice. Full of honest and open lyricism which discusses themes such as anxiety, suicide and depression. This EP features a wealth of talent with Wellington artists such as Keith Aaron, Moana Leota, Hunter Davison and Rupert McRae. You can check out the works of the EP on her website here. She has dedicated 50% of her online streams to fund mentalhealth.org.nz  and their outstanding work.

The first track Not Alone eases us in with a guitar-lead melody, while Madie’s voice appears soulfully passionate, and twirls graciously around her deep lyrics. The band sounds tight and sways comfortably with the mood. I like how the guitar picking and drum brushes are kept smooth throughout, wrapping around Maddie’s vocal lines, and keeping the groove polished. The song is about reaching out and showing support for those struggling. This is a big theme in mental health support. Losing hope and withdrawing when one’s mental health is in suffering is common. It’s our duty as a friend or family member to let them know they are loved and not alone. A message of hope and comfort is heard throughout, and the harmonies really make this delicate and insightful to listen to.

Whisper Lies has a real bounce and shuffle from the drums. The vocals really match the song’s cry for help. It’s about the suffocating feeling at social gatherings; a real dark place for some. We’re “lost in the dark”, and seemingly misunderstood. It’s a feeling of awkwardness, feeling unheard, feeling like a “nobody” or worse, a burden. This is a very resonant feeling for many. This feeling is enhanced with the onset of social media, its pressures, and the feeling of not “fitting in”. Anxiety does of course exist on its own, and manifests differently for everyone. You can experience mental blocks, feelings of alienation, battles with one’s own consciousness, and challenges towards socialising. These feelings especially concern people’s perceptions of one’s self which is a real challenge for the human mind and is beautifully represented in this song. Maddie helps exemplify that an anxious mind is normal, and okay.

Sanity is a slower song about feelings of one’s mental health slipping, or not having control. One’s words in a darker state of mind can’t come out the way they want. Losing hope and losing faith can be common in our modern world, and need discussion. People need praise when vulnerability is expressed, as by this process our minds are opened. Maddie’s soaring voice, coupled with the bluesy guitar riffs in this one, brings out a solemn and moody theme. Though solemn, a positive message is underlying here. Proclaiming that these tenderness's are not a weakness, but a strength that can be overcome.

Finger picking opens the intro to Please Stay. Harmony progresses into a thematic tune on patience, acceptance, and the lack of it. This tune theme begs a companion; the truth of needing something more; someone available for support. The vocal line of “please stay” as a phrase has a beautiful build-up of pitch, that progresses into a tenderised and engaged guitar line.

Maddie’s message with music is very strong with her first chance of release. Alongside completing her last year in a Commercial Music Degree at Massey, she has released something very special. It’s an artwork of soul, exquisite songwriting, musical prowess and brilliantly evoked emotion.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Madie

Wellington-based singer-songwriter, Madie is an up and coming passionate indie-soul musician. Raised in Ohakune, Madie's love for music and performing began at a young age, through local theatre and the tight knit creative community she was brought up in. The turning point was in her early teens when her grandfather passed his guitar down to her. From there the self-taught musician has performed in a variety of competitions, shows, community and charity events. Along the way gaining special mention from former Split Enz member Mike Chunn for her songwriting abilities. Her down-to-earth personality is balanced out by her relatable lyrics and paired with a powerful voice that is far beyond her years, she is capable of evoking emotion on her entire audience, sending out Adele, Amy Winehouse vibes.

Currently, in the last year of her Commercial Music degree at Massey, Madie is also working on her debut EP. The Modern Mind is a four-track soul EP, with a major focus on mental health and the different aspects of it. “There is this huge stigma around mental health, especially in New Zealand where we think things are better left unsaid and it’s when those things are left unsaid or not dealt with properly that lead to the most unfortunate endings, I myself have known far too many people who have been victims of this. I want my EP and me writing about my own mental health experiences to help break the stigma and encourage people to speak out about it, because it is a healthy thing to do.” 50% of all streaming royalties will be going to the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation to raise money for an important cause. This EP features the talent of Wellington artists such as Keith Aaron, Moana Leota, Hunter Davison and Rupert McRae and is set to be available on streaming platforms in a couple of months.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Madie


The Modern Mind
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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