Artist: Madi Diaz
Album: Ten Gun Salute EP
It all started when I invited myself to listen to my friend Alicia’s copy of the Ten Gun Salute EP by Madi Diaz. Once I realized that the first track starts with the sound of a striking match, I was hooked. I always appreciate unconventional instrumentation. [One of my favorite examples being Guster’s use of a typewriter as part of their percussion section.]
But there’s more to endear me to this record than just the thought of playing with matches. Smooth vocals are another hallmark of Madi’s style: brassy and confident, clear and honest, it is the perfect pairing with the folk/pop/acoustic instrumentation that drives the album.
It may be a short record (weighing in at 7 songs, approximately 26 minutes), but it is sweet indeed. I love every track and have been known to leave Ten Gun Salute on repeat for hours. That’s more than three times in a row, for those who are even worse at math than I am.
Her voice is lovely, her melodies are soaring, and her instrumentation is diverse: a triple threat if I ever heard one.
But perhaps my favorite part of Ten Gun Salute, and what seems to be Madi’s overall approach to music, is the emphasis on simplicity. Don’t be deceived- in a world of musical overproduction, this is a pearl of great price. Ten Gun Salute is stripped. but not lacking; clear, but not empty; light, but not shallow.
It may appear small, but it is fiery and bright.
Favorites include: “Let’s Go”, “Heavy Heart”, and “Ten Gun Salute”.
Although I understand and appreciate the appeal of buying electronically, may I suggest buying a “hard copy” in order to appreciate the original artwork on the cover more closely.