tune up: madi diaz


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.

Follow Madi, visit her site, and enjoy her poignant tribute to the simple, complex parts of all of us.

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