MAWD, aka Californian singer/songwriter Madeline Matthews, showcases her explosive style on new single "Dark Room".
Fans of Deap Vally, Alabama Shakes, and The Black Keys will feel right at home with MAWD's sound; that raw, bold brand of modern rock'n'roll that draws from both blues and current pop to forge something accessibly familiar, yet excitingly urgent. Employing sturdy, classic sounds to tell her own personal stories proves more than effective for the multi-instrumentalist, whose previous singles "Summer In A Dream" and "Ukulele Song" have drawn from softer sides of her repertoire. The common thread linking each release lies in that awe-inspiring voice, whether Matthews employs her full Janis Joplin-esque belt or tones things down for a more whimsical feel. "Dark Room" sees the former stretched to its fullest extent, a confident, commanding presence that holds its own against a dramatic, high contrast backdrop.
"Dark Room" was a song I wrote while in college," Matthews explains of "Dark Room"'s inspiration. "During my summer break I went to Los Angeles from my small college town Chico, CA to intern. During my 3 months there, I hardly knew a soul and I was severely missing not only my boyfriend back home, but my small town and that warm comforting feeling that being in place you call home can bring. I had all of these preconceived thoughts that in order to thrive in LA, I had to 'fit in' with the fast paced and expensive lifestyle. In a small town you have the pleasure of bumping into friends on the street, while being new to LA can be quite overwhelming and make you feel so incredibly small and lonely in the world. Now being a full time LA resident, I know that those were just thoughts created by watching far too many movies or bad reality shows. But at the time, I felt like I was going crazy sitting in my dark dingy dorm room, struggling with the longing for a comforting feeling, trying to fit in, feeling like a stranger in my skin, and discovering a new dark part of my mind."
The track was realised with the help of producers Roger Gisborne and Josiah Mezzaschi (Kate Nash, The Jesus and Mary Chain), plus mastering from Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Beck, The Kills). It's no surprise it's absolute dynamite.