26 Mar 2023

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Madeline - Single Review: The Illawarra

23 Feb 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin

A song is powerful when you can hear its fashionable beat and appealing lyrics in view of the fact it comes from a special experience. One of Aotearoa’s newest artists Madeline. strikes us with her seductive vocals in her follow-up single The Illawarra. The Illawarra is told from the lens of a stranger Madeline encountered during her trip to a hotel of the same name with the company of friends. Located in the coastal region of Australia, The Illawarra Hotel has clearly held some personal memories and emotions for Madeline which she will cherish for years to come. 

Last year, she achieved a spot in New Zealand’s Top 40 music charts and with the support of Wellington producer Jake Stokes, she has crafted a neo-pop song that sounds like what I imagine an Edgar Degas painting looks like. This is suitable as her sound takes inspiration from classical art and literature. From the very beginning of the song, you can hear the sound of rain merged with the first few beats which imitate the sound of the 2022 NSW rainstorms. This adds a beautiful visualisation to what the song is saying and what she was experiencing at the time. 

At the heart of the catchy hook, we can hear the story of her injured heart’s pain palliated by the embrace of friends. Another personalised touch is her friend's healing laughs a few seconds into the song which was recorded during their stay at the hotel. It’s relatable in this way because a lot of us know how it feels to need a trip away with friends or to hit the town for a night out and let loose after our emotions have worked treacherously. 

It’s the inspirations of Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys and Lady Gaga that have shaped this track's soulful sound. These inspirations can be heard in Madeline’s first single titled Consume which further reflects her strength as a vocalist. With more music on the horizon Madeline clearly shows what Aotearoa’s young artists have to offer.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Madeline

Fearlessly stepping into her solo spotlight, Aotearoa singer-songwriter Madeline. is honest, seductive and thoughtful. Her heady brand of soulful neo-pop, inspired by classic art and literature, questions timelines and runs from tradition.

As a founding member of the Auckland all-girl rockers, She Loves You (lead vocals and songwriting); Madeline. is a well seasoned performer and a familiar face from the local scene.

Conjured through her love of Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys and Lady Gaga; in her individual pursuit, Madeline. combines hypnotic lounge vocals and tantalising trap beats. This is topped off with thumping bass lines to create a sound that is uniquely her own. All the while she still brandishes her front-woman confidence.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Madeline


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