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MAWD – Dark Room [Review]

MAWD – Dark Room [Review]

MAWD swaps The Golden State for a ‘Dark Room’ on her stunning new single.

MAWD is the pseudonym of California-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Madeline Matthews. Matthews presents her startlingly soulful compositions, which take in influences from rock ‘n’ roll, indie and alternative music, blues and pop, often in the space of one song, by playing everything from guitar, bass and piano to ukulele and accordion.

For her self-titled debut EP, MAWD teamed up with producer Roger Gisborne of the Los Angeles-based the Sound x3 record label and engineer Josiah Mezzaschi, who is fresh from having just produced The Jesus and Mary Chain’s 2017 album, ‘Damage and Joy’. It was mastered by Brian Lacey, who some will know from having worked with Beck, The Black Keys and The Kills.

On her upcoming single ‘Dark Room’, MAWD perfectly encapsulates the feeling of isolation experienced by the youth of today in a three minute upbeat and catchy pop song. MAWD’s husky but soulful vocals are reminiscent of Paloma Faith and Amy Winehouse, with a bit of Kate Bush style whooping for good measure, whilst the incessant and inventive backing fizzes with crunchy guitars and booms with powerful percussion. As ‘Dark Room’ nears its conclusion with guitar work as driving and destructive as something you might expect from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, complete with string bends which make the listener feel as if the “dark room” of which MAWD speaks is closing in around them, we are left in no doubt that they have just heard something truly special.


Review by Alice Jones

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