Release Date: August 25, 2023 Genre: Indie Folk, Folk Pop Label: Independent 23-year-old singer-songwriter Madds Buckley is known for creating music inspired her her love of anime and various series and video games she loves. She kickstarted her music career by making English anime covers on TikTok, while she was studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This led her to release her last project, Sunset on Summerville (2022), which was solely inspired by characters from the anime series My Hero Academia. That album features her biggest hit, "The Red Means I Love You," a song written for the series' character Toga Himiko. While her music has been solely influenced by anime for the last couple of years, it's always been intended to be enjoyed by everyone, whether they are or are not fans of anime or if they do or don't know the stories of these anime characters she's writing about. Now, Madds is back with her latest full-length album, My Love Is Sick. She takes a shift in inspiration and has compiled twelve tracks that begin to explore her own personal experiences. These new songs showcase her growth as a songwriter and showcase a sensitive side of her fans have yet to see. Madds Buckley's latest album opens up with the summery pop-rock tune, “Love After You.” The juxtaposition between the electric guitar power chords and the simplicity of the acoustic guitar chords blend in a very fascinating way that accompanies the song's powerful lyricism.
Madds turns things with a moodier and depressive feel on the foreboding track, “You Stabbed Me in My Sleep.” Showcasing haunting piano, Madd's emotive voice on top of the resonating piano chords will raise all the hairs up the listener's arms and the back of their neck. As the track builds, it welcomes in these otherworldly jazz elements. The string arrangement in the background of the track is super eerie.
Following up is the album's lead single and title track, “My Love is Sick.” The song wraps up the overarching theme of framing yourself as something wrong, unworthy, or twisted: the wanting victim, the weed among the flowers, the sinner in the pews, or the unknowing villain within your own story. Sonically, it follows a similar recipe with a mix of indie rock and folk, while being overly emotive because of Madd's soaring vocals.
On the longest track of the entire album,“St. Valentines” hears Madds strip things back with just an acoustic guitar and light piano in the background. However, that all changes as the song builds and the drums come in. While the drums are mostly subtle too, they hold a heaviness in them that really throws the emotion being sung in the lyrics forward like a powerful wind gust. The emotion in Madd's songs continues and on “I Lose to You,” the folk tune incorporates the insatiable use of harmonica, giving the track some country/bluegrass vibes.
Blending electric and acoustic guitars again, “DogBird” tackles a tragic love story. Madd's tackles a failing relationship, weaving in the metaphor of a dog loving a bird. It's a massively powerful song lyrically, and Madd's shares more about the track, “'DogBird' is a queer story at its core, about loving someone while fighting your upbringing, but is truly for anyone who's ever become their own worst fear; hurting the one you love most.”
Closing out My Love Is Sick is the track, "I Wanna Be in Love Again," where listeners can hear her speak on getting over her last relationship and her readiness to put the past behind her and find a new person to love unconditionally. "I Wanna Be in Love Again," is the perfect culmination for such an introspective album. On My Love Is Sick, Madds Buckley has crafted a deeply personal and musically diverse rollercoaster of an album that showcases her songwriting prowess and emotive vocal delivery. Each track tells a deeply personal story, and together, they form a compelling narrative of love, self-discovery, and resilience. This album is a testament to Madds Buckley's talent and her ability to connect with listeners on a profound level. It's a journey worth taking for anyone looking to explore the depths of human emotion through music.
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