AfterDark’s Dean Hodge reviews the new EP by Maddie Jones (released on 23 Oct 2015).
Tracklisting: Could You Be My Rock ‘n’ Roll/Deadliest Little Fever/Push Back
Mistress-of-all-trades Maddie Jones has firmly asserted herself as the chameleon of the female singer-songwriter scene, with her debut album Vita Brevis an eclectic tapestry of songwriting that weaves in and out of any genre in distance, underpinned by Maddie’s distinct voice.
She remains as reliably unpredictable as ever with the release of her latest EP release Colour Me In, taking her sound down a more electric route with the immaculate melodies of her debut swapped for bruising riffs. Miss Jones’ faultless vocals remain as ever though, as does Charlie Francis (REM, Future of the Left, Sweet Baboo) on production duties. Whatever sound or genre Maddie can be pigeonholed into is essentially up to the listener to decide for themselves, an answer eluded to in the EP’s title and artwork.
The chugging blues-rock riff of Could You Be My Rock ‘n’ Roll gets the ball rolling with Maddie delivering an ultimatum to the listener as well as the lyrical subject of her affections. “I came out with an aching in my chest/I wanna find someone who’s different from the rest”. It’s as effective a call-to-arms to the dancefloor to join Maddie in shaking the dust off and dancing the blues away as any opening lyric. The presence of co-writer and guitarist Matthew Evans from Welsh garage-psych wizards KEYS certainly sprinkles a further dosage of 70’s dust over this four-minute stomper of a track, and you can almost smell the scent of bourbon and leather jackets throughout.
Sandwiched between the barroom boogie of the Could You Be My Rock ‘n’ Roll and the impending sucker-punch blues of Push Back is the hazy ballad Deadliest Little Fever, a slow-burning blues waltz which simmers where the other two tracks singe.
The final piece in this impressive triple salvo is the searing strut of Push Back, with Maddie stretching her vocal chops with enviable elasticity as she croaks and croons above a wall of plodding Led Zep-esque riffs and dense grooves, in a manner that would make even Robert Plant blush.
Maddie’s eyes and ears for the unconventional is what make her an artist in the truest sense, and she continues to plough the same maverick furrow on Colour Me In, proving she can glide effortlessly between deft harmonies and dense rockers. Her meticulous approach to her craft is matched only by her ability to have fun, which is what makes her music so refreshing to listen to. Colour Me In is a sonic palette of pristine rock’n’roll brushed with Maddie’s distinctly deft touch.
Colour Me In is available to buy and stream from Fri 23 Oct. The EP is available to pre-order along with other merchandise on Maddie’s official PledgeMusic page, and you can read Maddie Jones’ previous interview with AfterDark’s Dean Hodge here.
In addition, Maddie Jones will be launching the EP with a gig in Gwdihw on Thurs 29 Oct at 7pm. Tickets for the Colour Me In launch in Gwdihw are available to buy here.
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