History Of A Feeling by Madi Diaz
An Intimate Review of Resentment
One of my favorite albums in 2022 was Madi Diaz's album from 2021, History Of A Feeling. I happened upon Madi's music years ago when she opened for Jr. Jr. and Still Woozy. I looked her music up when I got home and enjoyed it. But I had no expectation that I would have Madi Diaz on repeat six years later.
The track "Rage" starts the album with an understated premonition of the self-soothing, raw emotion that Madi will be pumping out for the following 35 minutes. The instrumentation is muted, leaving Madi's voice exposed. The sweetest and thinnest veil of music and poetry wraps around a vulnerable woman wrestling with deep hurt. Incredibly, her voice and her words carry that weight beautifully.
Each song creates an intimate vignette of her in the aftermath of an irreparably shattered relationship. Shock, disbelief, heartache, rage, alienation, and "Resentment." Madi hums and belts from the midst of these. The musical mists swell and subside with her voice, drifting gently about her as a perfect compliment to her state of mind. At times, a humble quartet beautifully forms a backdrop, yet her cries cut crisply through to the foreground.
Turning the Page On Heartbreak
By the time we reach the penultimate track, Madi has trudged through to the other side with damn good music, reflection, and time. With "New Person, Old Place," she begins moving beyond the remnants of a past life. The subtly layered production creeps in (shout out to Ethan Gruska) as the song comes alive. It becomes a stunning anthem for those who finally turn the page on a dysfunctional relationship that crushed them without seeing it.
I had the great pleasure of hearing Madi perform at Kilby Court last fall. (Thanks for signing my vinyl!) She was truly incredible and, indeed, must be made of sturdier stuff than I to let her past soar openly across a small crowd of nameless faces. No one wants to be crying in public.
The album wraps up with "Do It Now," Madi looks forward. She is open but recognizes that it is harder to be so. And I wish her the best.
Thanks, Jr. Jr..
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